Apparently not my commitment to this blog!
I have to admit that 2016 was a slow year for creating art; usually July and August are my most productive months given that the rest of the year my job hijacks my life, however, last year we decided to do a kitchen reno ourselves. And so, my summer was spent painting cupboards, laying tile, plumbing and generally making a mess. Up side: I can tile a pretty awesome back splash; downside: no time for art.
There was one notable art-related event last year. In June 2016, I went to see the Pack A.D. play The Red Dog in Peterborough. They played a few songs from a then yet-to-be-released album, and about half way through one of them, I realized that I could see it quite clearly. I went home and immediately produced a sketch...
I painted this entirely from memory. The album hadn't been released yet, so I hadn't heard the recorded version of the song, which means this sketch is the truest representation of the music that I've been able to achieve. Its a raw impression of the song, achieved just from hearing it live.
... and then I decided to give it to the band. Because as an artist, there is nothing like feeling inspired and truly, their music has inspired me to create some of my best work, with an element of surrealism that has never before appeared in my art. While I hope I was able to convey a modicum of my appreciation to Becky and Maya, I'm certain I didn't. Of course they were very sweet and gracious and seemed genuine in their curiosity/appreciation, but looking back, I can't help but wonder if doing this was weird? Awkward? The artistic equivalent of stalking? Maybe one day I'll find the words to be able to properly convey my thanks.
In August 2016 I found out the song was called Yes I Know and its the second track on their album Positive Thinking. I was in a hotel in Calgary when it appeared in iTunes, and I was afraid that when I heard the recorded song, I would instantly question the painting. Thankfully, I felt only relief when I heard the recorded version, because I knew I wouldn't change a thing.
I was planning to do a 34'x 36' canvas of this, but I decided against it. Firstly, I don't think I could reproduce it accurately, and secondly, I like the idea of the inspiration for the painting being in possession of the only original.
So there's another new album that was released just a few days ago and I've been fortunate enough to hear most of the songs live, three times... we all know where this is going.
So I'm still doing this music and art thing.
The drive from my house to ballet class is along country roads and through farmland. I really enjoy the drive, especially during the summer. The other night was beautiful; warm with a clear sky at sunset and as I drove home from the studio, I found the sky to be particularly large and beautiful.
Of course I was listening to my musical obsession, 'Do Not Engage' by the Pack A.D. and it occurred to me that the music suited the sky.
I carefully noted the colours of the August sky at sunset and painted it the next day.
I'm not really sure what to do now, but I've been listening to 'Airborne' a lot.
That is the same painting in both of the photos. Seriously. The left photo shows what a painting I am now calling 'Existential' looked like two nights ago. On the right is what that painting looks like now.
What a difference.... and thank goodness for that! This was one of the paintings I mentioned in the previous post (though not the one I put in time out), and man, was it hideous! I mean really, so washed out and poorly planned...
This was another based on a Pack A.D. song ('Needles') and after such a terrible start I had to re-think my approach. This song is 'softer' than their other songs, but also edgy in a different way... the painting needed to show a certain amount of turmoil. The lyrics indicate a sunrise, so I spent a lot of time looking at photos of sunrises and even though I knew I didn't want to expressly paint a sunrise, I did want there to be a suggestion of one.
This was the final result and its a bit surreal.
I've been painting, which is SUCH a relief! Of course I'm working toward a deadline -gallery show next week - however I would have been painting anyway; these paintings have been trying to come out for a long time.
I've finished the painting from my last post and decided on the title 'Rip Current'. I've also finished another painting inspired by another song by The Pack A.D. called 'Motorvate'. I started this one way back in April and hated where it was going but after a three month break I listened to the song once and finished it in 45 minutes. I'm in the Honeymoon Stage right now; I know this because I absolutely love the painting... . Anyway, I called it 'Zee' because it seems to me that the song is about a zombie apocalypse and the painting ended up looking a bit like a zombie apocalypse.
I'm working on two other paintings based on songs and right now they are both horrifying. I actually have one of them in a corner, facing toward the wall because I can't bare to look at it.
If that sounds like I've put a painting in 'time out' then I suppose I have.
I hope it thinks about what its done to me.
There is a relationship that exists between all of the arts and often, they depend on one another for success. The relationship between music and visual art has always fascinated me and inevitably, every once and awhile, there will be a song that speaks to me on a visual level. Of course, like an itch that I need to scratch, I have to try and paint it.
The painting on my easel (left) has been trying to come out for about a month, ever since I attended two concerts headlined by The Pack A.D. Anyone who reads my art blog knows how much I enjoy their music, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before I painted one of their songs.
Aforementioned painting has no name yet, but was inspired by 'The Water'
Sometimes art can take you strange places.
For instance, a few months ago I stumbled upon a photo of wine glasses that had been painted to look like the Piranha Plant from Super Mario; pretty fun and the perfect gift for the video game fans in my family.
Instead of ordering the glasses online, I thought that Ikea wine glasses and some transparent glass paint would do the trick... on the left (and below) is the final product.
The design itself was easy to reproduce, it was the glass paint that presented the biggest challenge. To be perfectly honest, glass paint is a royal pain in the keester to work with; it requires two layers, but often the second layer pulls the first and the result is an uneven surface. Annoying! However, the outcome was still good and I had a chance to flex my underused artistic muscles.