On this blog, a companion to "ArtSoPotent," I will write about the connection between visual art and other art forms, including cinema, dancing, poetry, and specifically music. This space will also serve to display images of my commercial work: Calligraphy, Collage, Note Cards, Hand-painted boxes, Handmade books,and other mixed-media works.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mixed Media Musings




My enjoyment of Japanese animation began when I first watched the movie, "Spirited Away." I loved the quality of the graphics, as well as the wisdom, adventure and fantasy of the production itself. This particular movie experience was later followed by other Studio Ghilbi movies including "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Kiki's Delivery Service."

Of all the movies from that studio, my favorite was "Howl's Moving Castle," which I have watched at least twenty times in recent years. One of the reasons I'm so attracted to this particular movie is because it never fails to allow me to leave the outside world behind and forget my troubles. Another reason is because I love the theme song, by Joe Hasaishi, conductor of the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra.

The theme from "Howl's Moving Castle" has been one of the few pieces of music that always gives me a feeling of happiness. This is the one descriptive word that comes to mind whenever I hear this theme.

Regarding fine art, the visuals that coming to mind when listening to this piece is a clear lake on a spring day, a family of birds flying through the sky or a quiet pastoral scene from some unknown location. This musical composition is light blue, white, pale green with other mixed greens......this composition gently swepts me to another place and time.........How does this musical composition make you feel?.......

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The ArtMusic Connection





"All art aspires toward the condition of music."


The above quote is one I have written many times because I believe in its truth.  The condition of music, that is, its rhythms and forms, is the foundation from which all other art flows.  Further, the various feelings which music evokes, are the same as those an artist might feel when making art or when a viewer sees art.

In my poem, "All Art," which is posted on my companion blog, "ArtSoPotent," I mention that all art is the same, but experienced in a different vein.  By this, I refer to a different sensory vien.  The music we hear is often capable of giving us the same feelings as the art we gaze upon.  Many musicians and visual artists I've spoken to are keenly aware of this connection.

An aware visual artist often can "see" the rhythms, cords and licks of a composition that is playing.  His brain might intuitively transform these musical elements into visual ones, without necessarily being technically aware that he is doing so.  The elements become colors, lines and forms.

This rather abstract concept can be most naturally applied to the genre of Jazz, relative to Abstract Painting....although most painting contains some abstraction...more about this later, as I am writing free-form here......   

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Music I Paint By




The music of Bob Marley and The Wailers was introduced to me in 1972 by a friend, of Jamaican ancestry. After hearing the album, "Burnin," which my friend had purchased during his vacation on the islands, I was immediately hooked on reggae music. The throbbing back- beat grabbed me, creating strong feelings for the passionate rhythm, the exotic instruments and the driving social messages. Also, the words to some of the songs were haunting, particularly "Redemption Song," which I memorized and began re-creating in calligraphic art form. It is yet to be completed.

My love of reggae music reflects my openess to all genres of music, just as the artist in me feels a kinship to all people. While I love and continue to learn about all aspects of my own culture, I also embrace any music that stirs feelings in me. This is particularly true when I'm painting.

Classical, Jazz, R&B, Gospel, Classic Rock, Blues, Country and even some Hip-Hop music have accompanied the strokes of my brush. But the music of Bob Marley has been my most consistent painting companion over the years......