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Drawing to Sound

I’m back!  Well, I never left, but I have been making things.  I am pleased to report that today is the last day of the 2020 Index-Card-a-Day Challenge, and I have finished all of them!  I will post more about the end of this year’s ICAD next week, because now I want to show my attempts at creating to music.

My tastes in music are quite eclectic, so it is difficult to find something that am not familiar with.  The Hoopla app (should be available through your local library) has a meager offering of some world music, and there I found a recording of Australian digeridoo music.  That is what I chose for my creative experiment.  I decided to make my musical sketch on an 8.5 x 11” piece of dark gray textured paper, using gel sticks, crayons, colored pencils and oil pastels to make my marks.

After getting everything in place, I started the music and listened for a few minutes, choosing colors, making an effort to select colors that I don’t normally use.  Then, I started drawing lines, trying to imagine my hand connecting to the sound and taking over my movements.

I kept going, filling in shapes and adding marks.  I think that you can see how the red waves and orange scribbles were in response to the undulating drone of the digeridoo, while the blue bars, white dots and yellow slashes came from the sounds of sticks tapping together.

Finally, I added more shading and bulked up the composition with some brighter colors.

This could be a great creative block smasher, I will be making a point to doodle or sketch to music more often in my art journals.  As luck would have it, one of the last prompts for the 2020 ICAD challenge was “Bossa Nova.”  Hoopla again saved the day with several Bossa Nova titles, and here is what came out of my mind:

Next week, (yes, I will post next week, I promise) the ICAD wrap up and moving on to something else.

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Music on my Mind

First, my index cards from week five, prompts were citrus, arcade, font, earrings, periwinkle, board game and lantern:

Music is a powerful force on our minds.  How many times have you sung along at the top of your lungs to a favorite tune on the radio as you drive around, or jumped up and danced around uninhibited while no one was looking.  How many more times have you wanted to sing out and dance like crazy?  A song can bring back very specific memories.  What do you define as music?  To me, music is not just the recordings or performances of human voice and sounds resonating out of instruments being played.  This time I hear the songs of birds and insects when I step outside.  Every once in a while, my brain dredges up the clatter of the vintage candy factory line that I used to run.  The fondant cutter had an especially interesting series of repeated clicks and cranks.  Somehow, these sounds come out in some of my collages.

Composers have many variables to utilize in the creation of a piece of music, just like visual artists have their own “language” of design elements.  With these close similarities in the creative process, it is not surprising that one often influences the other.   Jiri Anderle often textured his prints with mark making techniques carries over from his stints as a drummer in a band.  The Russian composer Mussorgsky was inspired to write “Pictures at an Exhibition” from viewing paintings by Viktor Hartmann.  In turn, the music came back out in the visual art through a stage setting by Kandinsky.

I don’t believe that you have to know much about music to enjoy it or be inspired by it.  Listen closely, pay attention to the instruments, the patterns and repetitions, the variances in notes and chords, the time that notes are held, the spaces of pauses in between notes.  How can you transform what you hear into visual shapes, lines, marks, color and texture?  Try listening to a piece of music that you are not familiar with, and make some marks with pencil and paper while you listen.  I plan on trying this myself over the weekend, check back next week to see my efforts.

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The Index Cards Keep Coming…

I am rolling along with the Index Card a Day challenge.  The prompts for week four were anchor, terrarium, emerald, cappuccino, bougainvillea, souvenir and wind chimes.

I don’t think that the writing that I did on the wind chimes card will show up in the picture.  It reads, “Why should the birds, the crickets and the cicadas be the only ones in nature’s orchestra? The wind wants to join in the symphony.”

Somehow, we have arrived at the turnover of another month, and it is once again time for me to share my 4×4” squares for June.  Partway through May, I started limiting myself to one color for a week.  I continued this single color exploration in June.

Working in a single color made me really pay attention to using different color values – light and dark tints, tones and shades.  Using a range of color values adds more visual interest, just like using textures, or varying shape sizes, lengths and widths of design elements.  I am moving on from my own little color challenge, I don’t know yet if I will work in a theme for July’s 4×4 squares.  I do know that I need to get stitching.  Surf on over here next week for something on the music that rings in my head and my art.