Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Music To Create By
What is it with classical music and painting? 7 out of 10 workshop instructors I’ve met want classical music played while the students paint...and not the 1812 Overture either - something gentle and soothing. I know that works for a lot of people, but my approach is a bit different: Classical music makes me semi-comatose and my brush slogs across the canvas like the bow to a bass viol. Not my style. Don't get me wrong, I love classical music, but not when I'm working. I save it for nights in front of the fire with a glass of wine and a good book
When I paint - and in my workshops - you’ll hear blues, funk, rock ‘n roll and every once in a while some really spirited gospel music. To me painting is a joyous, upbeat activity and I want my art to reflect that. I dance to the music and so does my brush! Yes I’m sure I look absolutely ridiculous but alone in my studio, who the heck cares? I've even gotten over feeling foolish if I'm painting en plein air with my Beats on and I end up twisting with Chubby Checker or whipping and nae-nae-ing with Silento.
It’s amazing how even the students who sniff and sneer at my background music choices that first morning of the workshop can’t help but eventually be drawn in. The longest it’s ever taken to “convert” a student was a day and a half. That particular lady, who has now tossed her classical music and has a full library of Elvin Bishop, Bonnie Raitt and Queen, is now winning awards after years of trying! I’m sure her accumulated knowledge (including of course what she learned from me) and faithful practice have played the biggest part in achieving those successes, but I contend that Eric Clapton had a hand in it as well! Happy music + happy brain + happy body = happy brushstrokes and joyous art. It's all part of living out loud.