Sunday, 10 May 2015

Painting by Music (and April MJJ)


In April my challenge, set by the lovely Gemma, was to paint a Mona Lisa self-portrait. Oh wow, this was hard. I struggled until I realised that the challenge wasn't to paint as well as Da Vinci (phew) but to inject a bit of our individual personality into a Mona Lisa style portrait. So I tried for a whimsical, doodley, cartoon like feel that matched my crazy imagination. The scan doesn't show the range of colours and layers that the original has and similarly, unfortunately, nor do the prints. But hopefully Gemma will enjoy the original and forgive my lack of portrait skills!

James Newton Howard "Flow Like Water"

In my last post I talked about my son having enjoyed a painting-by-music exercise at school. I've been having some problems with my vision/head the last couple weeks so its taken me a while to get to it. However, this morning I asked my son and daughter if they wanted to have a try with me. Happily, they were both enthusiastic about the idea and we had a couple of hours of creative fun together! We used a variety of music. Each time we'd listen to the music whilst choosing our paint colours and then would play it again using it to guide and inspire our paint strokes. For instance staccato rhythm may produce dots and splotches. The mood and pace of the music may put a certain picture in our minds. We covered a few pieces of paper and listened to a variety of music. I think our favourite was James Newton Howard's "Flow Like Water" which I've linked to (above) in case you fancy a go. Here are some of our favourite painting results:
My son's painting using Luna  "BrunuhVille"

My painting using James Newton Howard's "Flow Like Water"

My son's painting using "Secrets" by One Republic

My daughter's painting using Luna's "BrunhuVille"

My daughter's painting using James Newton Howard's "Flow Like Water"
My daughter seemed to use the image in her head that the music inspired whilst my son & I used a free flow approach in sync with the rhythm and melody. We all found it hard to stop and leave the painting alone at the end of the few minutes of music. The fact that my daughter managed this last painting in just a few minutes impressed me. Maybe next time I'll try her process of going with the image the music gave me. But both my son & I enjoyed the free form freedom of having nothing in mind and just going with the flow of the music.


  • If you're inspired to have a go please do share your results.
  • How do you approach your art? Do you favour structure and planning or a see-what-happens method?
Wishing you all a Happy and Creative week!
Kat :-)x




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4 comments:

  1. The paintings you and your children created are all so wonderful! What a fun project for you to do together.

    Your Mona Lisa made me smile. Love the little book worm and all of your sweet whimsical images (that all add up to be YOU). Such a creative, fun take on the challenge!

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    1. Thanks Anne - yes it was fun & considering they are 11 and 13 I was happy that they were both so enthusiastic to paint with me. I'm glad they're not addicted to only technology. Thanks for your encouragement on the Mona Lisa challenge, I'm glad the fun side comes through. I just wish my art skills were up to speed with my imagination, lol :-)! Hugs, Kat xx

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  2. Your Mona Lisa painting was the first thing I saw on my face book news feed this morning. I came directly here. I absolutely LOVE it. She is totally fabulous. Thank you so much for all of the work you did creating her. Awesome! Also love your families art/music paintings. Great idea. Sounds like fun and they are such cool paintings. Love you. xx

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    1. Gemma - so glad you like my Mona Lisa take for you, I wish I could've had greater skills to match my imagination but hopefully you'll still enjoy all the detail & love behind it :-) Hugs, Kat xx

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