Friday, February 27, 2009

The Painting Soundtrack

As a young art student, I remember teachers who insisted that music was a distraction, that it interrupted the creative flow. Others felt it was OK - a personal choice, although few allowed it in the classroom, because tastes and preferences vary; what one of us finds inspiring, another may find disturbing.

For me, music and painting are deeply entwined. There are days I spend more time choosing CDs or uploading a playlist than I do choosing a palette for a new piece, and often the music will lead me in a completely new direction...

The playlist here on the blog (scroll down on the right) is pretty typcial of what I like to listen to, although the CD player is often loaded with entirely Celtic music, or strictly classical, and on rare occasions rock. Never rap, never metal, and never country.

Commission work is different, because the direction of the piece is already established - so I'm not as careful with the music selection and tend to listen to whatever I'm in the mood for.

With two commissions in progress, this is one of those days, and the music doesn't get any better than this: an NPR broadcast of the brilliant Leonard Cohen, live at the Beacon Theater in New York, recorded just 8 days ago. A dear friend sent me the link yesterday knowing how much I'd enjoy it, and just I have to pass it on. Seriously, give this a listen, it's incredible! (I would sooooooooooo love to see his upcoming Philadelphia concert, but with funds limited and tickets going on sale Monday, it's doubtful.)

So how about you? Is music important to your creative process? What inspires you? Do you like silence....something mystical...or maybe something high energy? Inquiring minds want to know....

(And do you think I should paint myself a CD cabinet one of these days, hehe?)

~ Carolee

13 comments:

Tess said...

Oh my, yes, I think you need to paint yourself a cd cabinet. Seems there's a bit of a sag going on huh!! I like classic soft rock myself.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Yes, definitely a new painted cabinet! I'm one of those who paints to no music as I find it distracting.

BunnyKissd said...

Oh my! That cabinet looks like it's going to fall apart at any moment! LOL!

I can go either way with music. Sometimes I like to have some TV or a movie going (some thing that doesn't require too much attention), and sometimes I like energetic pop-rock or dance, and other times I like more mellow emo, instrumental type music. It's really a mood thing with me, and doesn't affect my art too much.

Carolee said...

I know, I know....every time I add a CD I wonder if it will be the straw that breaks the camel's back (yikes!)

~ Carolee

Kathleen Coy said...

Years ago I tried a little experiment. I sketched to classical music, then sketched to metal. The resulting sketches were drastically different - the "Sketches to Metal" looked awful! (And this was back in the day when I was quite the little metal head, lol.)

Since then, I make it a point to paint/draw to music that is supportive of my creativity. It can vary widely from classical, to Celtic, to Native American, to World Music to Cat Stevens to Eddie Vedder.

Sometimes I'll paint to the same song over and over - I painted an entire dog portrait listening to Beethoven's Ode to Joy once, lol. (It was a very joyful dog!)

Anonymous said...

When I begin the creative process, I put on music that pumps me up...like the Beatles, ELO. Bon Jovi etc...but when I sit down to do the final painting, the music must be classical, Enya or something soothing. Yes,I think you need a new cabinet! LOL :) Your work is very nice by the way.

Beehive Cottage said...

Yeah, a new cabinet might be a good idea. As for music, I can't work without it. Mostly, I listen to light classical, once in awhile it's Moody Blues, Joni Mitchell, Beatles...other times it's old stuff like Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett. But around about September it's all Christmas music.
I worked with a costume designer who couldn't tolerate any music. Another time I worked with a wig & beard designer who would only listen to opera. Hey we're all different. Aren't we lucky!

artbyakiko said...

Music definitely is one of the most important ingredients of my works. For the last few years, I've been listening to Rhapsody and have not bought a single CD. My CDs are now stashed away and my CD player probably has stopped working some time ago. lol

Outside the Box Primitives~Robin Armstrong Seeber said...

but of course a new painted cabinet so you can enjoy some of YOUR work!! just stoppin in to say HEY.. hugs, robin

*retro-rudolphs* said...

Carolee, forget the cabinet you know you won't make the time to paint one for yourself and if you did, you'd probably sell it. Maybe you should get an iPod w/speaker, (it's lighter) or is that wishful thinking?

As for my music selections.... Hmm, it depends on what I'm working on. I often listen to Coldplay, Keane, R.E.M. (something/someone similar to those artists) for the sculpting stages and then I switch to something with a little more energy or impact when a piece is nearing completion. Depending on my mood it could range from retro 80's to Alice in Chains.

Lori

Micki said...

I find that I work best in silence or with uplifting music, I can't paint to music if it has words and singing it has to be just music, I like celtic stuff best but I also have a cd called 'ULURA' a aboriginal/aussie type of music which is fantastic to paint to ;)

Micki x

Debra said...

Well I am quite eclectic in my music (although like you no rap, or screaming metal). I am a lover of the Movie "sountrack". Emma, Phantom, Sense and Sensibility, Secret of Roan Inish (you would like that very celtic), Josh Groban, Mario Frangoulis,Country, vintage rock and roll, and a wide variety of "world" music. I too have what you might consider a vast cd collection. I love beautiful music, and in movies it just adds a layer that can underscore the beauty, action, or emotion of the picture. With that said I like to play music that puts me in a mood, or relfect my mood at the time. It all goes and I am a big fan of the Amazon "playlists" where I sample music before I buy. If you stop by my blog check out my playlist.

Lisa said...

I love Leonard Cohen too - no wonder I enjoy your art so much. I wonder if people who have the same taste in music can sense that through the artists' creations. I say skip the cabinet for now and keep up with your wonderful, whimsical painting.