Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What'd I Say?

Did you know that many artists are musical, and many musicians are artistic?  Now, before you jump on me and say, "But, Kev-- music is an art, and musicians are artists!"  Yeah, I know that.  But for example, John Lennon went to art school.  John Singer Sargent was actually an accomplished pianist.  Tony Bennett is a painter, too.  Stuff like that.  I don't think that having those abilities are extra special, I think of it as just variations on the same creativity gene.  Not to brag, and I'm no John Lennon Sargent, but I'm also one of those painters who plays music.  I play piano-- not classical stuff--Rock and Roll.  As a result, I often think in musical terms when I am painting.

You see, I taught myself to paint.  Still learning, really.  (I also taught myself to play the piano).  And although I know and understand the basic tenets of art, I phrase them in my own way, which can be confusing to fellow painters.  So, here is a little glossary of my artspeak.

The wrong pitch.  Means a painting with incorrect values.  In music, the pitch is the vocal harmonizing with the key of the song.  If you're "pitchy" you are not staying within the musical key.  Same thing in painting, say, if your darks are too bright or your highlights are too dark.

Tone it down.  Either reduce the chroma, or lower the values.  When I think "tone it down" musically, I'm thinking I am too forceful in my playing, and I need to add some nuance and feeling.  In painting, I would be assaulting your eyes with my intense colors.

Take it down a half-step.  On the piano, a half-step is going from a white key up or down to the nearest black key.  It can be the right note to play, but that half-step could be sweeter or add a little more tension than the obvious note.  My painting definition also means reduce the intensity of the chroma, but not a whole lot.  Maybe tweak it with a little nuetral color to make it a more interesting, or even poignant.

Out of tune.  The obvious for a musical instrument, or a total mess of a painting.  It seems like all of my paintings get out of tune somewhere along the line, and I have to work hard to tune them back up!

Jamming on a riff.  That's when a passage is coming along particularly well.  You're just letting it happen and enjoying the results!

I've got more, but you probably get the idea. So, here's hoping that when you tune up your pallette you get to really jam on those riffs and keep it tight!

Trust me, that's a good thing.


No Know it all said...

Kev, you have an amazing way of painting reflections and glints of light in your works. Everything from the piano to the floor to the chrome you painted in a diner picture (I think that's what it was) that I saw last week. It's those details that make a painting so much more interesting and realistic.

Susan Roux said...

Jamming on a riff... That's what I shoot for. Luka Bloom helps me get there.

So I guess it all goes back to music...

Arianna said...

Very poetic work...Arianna!