I haven’t shown or posted much work in the first few months of 2015 because I have been busy woodshedding some new ideas and pushing myself into personally uncharted territory in my work. Since the New Year, I have been working diligently on several large canvases. Only the few that I am posting now are ready for human consumption but I am excited to show some of what I have been working on over the past few months!
I am considering 2015 to be my Sgt. Pepper’s year. As an explanation: The Beatles conceived the groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in an attempt to “kill off the Beatles”. The cover of the album depicts a funeral for The Beatles, brilliantly executed (pun intended) by collage artists Jann Howard and Peter Blake. Solemn looking wax figures of the Beatles, dressed in black, look down at a fresh gravesite covered in flowers that spell out the name “The Beatles”. The concept behind using the pseudonym, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, allowed The Beatles the freedom to create as a completely new band not tied down or restricted by the band’s history and expectations.
As an artist of any discipline, it is necessary to attempt to revamp stylistically, reinvent and continually push oneself to create something new and fresh. This push into new territory does not mean that I will abandon previous styles. In fact, I am currently working on one of my largest paintings ever in a style similar to one I have worked in for many years. I am noticing that the more abstract work I have been doing lately is starting to inform the stylistic choices that I am making in my current more-representational work. (I am also excited to show you all some of my more representational work but that will have to wait.)
Music and Visual Art in the New Paintings:
As a professional musician and visual artist, I have always made connections, whether consciously or unconsciously, between music and art. Through the years, I have had many music/visual collaborations and crossovers, creating artwork for music CD’s, a couple of custom-painted drum sets featured in Modern Drummer magazine, designing logos for bands and musicians, and creating paintings for a multi-art chamber opera collaboration that was performed at the WAG and recorded by CBC.
Exploring The Language of Music and Art:
Music and visual art share a common language and vocabulary. Words like tone, rhythm, harmony, arrangement, composition, dissonance, repetition, motives or motifs, chroma/chromatics, colour (referring to timbre), scale, are tension are used in both art forms. I believe an argument could also be made for many other musical terms, such as: melody, counterpoint, apogees, accents, articulation and many more.
Titling My New Work:
I have decided to not use descriptive titles, so although some of my current abstract works may have been abstracted from reality and therefore cannot be considered completely non-objective, I choose not to use descriptive titles as to avoid limiting the viewer’s experience by bringing any associations from the real world into the work.
Music is considered the most abstract of all art forms, so stripping my most recent paintings of representational reference and titles seems to be the most obvious, direct and efficient way to highlight and explore the commonalities between visual and auditory (musical) art.
Mondrian used the word “composition” to describe his abstract paintings, referring to placement of visual elements in a work of art. Since my current body of abstract paintings refers to music, I have decided to use the term “composition” in both the visual art and musical sense of the word.
These are the first three pieces of a new body of work that is currently underway. I hope you like them!
If you would like to see future work as it progresses, please “like” my Facebook page.