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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