This painting marks the beginning of a new way for me to paint. Instead of being able to sit down and paint, completing a work in perhaps one or two sittings, I now found myself in a different situation, with many demands on my time and energy. I could only snatch hours here and there. How to maintain my artistic practice? How would I know where to begin again from within the music if I had to wait to go back to painting from week to week?
And then there was this music in particular. It sounded so fast to my ears. How would I demonstrate the process of painting, unless I followed the music in a way that would be easily discernible and compelling to the viewer? An idea struck me in the most natural way possible. It emerged from my inner synaesthetic response to the music itself. It was encoded in how the music appeared to me. The piano thrumming in blue all the way up and down through the golden red, orange-tinged cloud-like swelling of rapid-fire, still sounding notes, sparkling and ever moving upward in a mirrored pattern on both sides of the piano line. On both sides of the piano line, that was my clue.
I would track the minutes and seconds of the music on one side of the line and correlate this with plot points on graph paper to give myself the actual place on paper where a given point in the music would be painted. This would allow me to paint the form of the music and the particular colour of the phrase in greater detail and with greater assurance than before! And so I began to explore this technique. I found it gave me much greater range and allowed me to relax and enjoy the creative process much more.The red ground of this painting is the resonance given off by the violin. The white ground is the soundscape of the title, the joy of being, the ecstasy of the source of life as we know it in the physical sense. It corresponds with a period of my life where I felt deeply, intensely happy, and deeply rooted in this beautiful and awe-inspiring earth we call home.
Comment on this painting: John Oliver, composer.
“Music is a time-based art. Art is normally not as the eye can enter the picture wherever it likes and can gain information from the painting ad libitum! The unique quality of your work is that you can encourage the viewer to treat it like music by entering the painting at the beginning of the music and following it through to the end, with all of the additional visual commentary reverberating around the core image. Very interesting perceptual proposition."
Here you can watch me create the painting.
All the Joys of Heaven 2011
Watercolour & Ink 18 x 24,
J.S. Bach Brandenberg Concerto #3 3rd movement Allegro