Friday, February 5, 2010

Inspiration from Classical Music

I listen to all kinds of music. But generally, I turn to classical music to help me think about moods when I want to paint.

One example is the music of Claude Debussy, a 19th century French composer. He has been described as a sort of impressionist: he was to music what Monet was to painting. I’m not sure I’d go along with that viewpoint, but Debussy certainly had a gift for writing music and developing chord structure that seems to form images in my mind. I’m thinking particularly about Claire de Lune or his Three Nocturnes, all which produce themes of moonlight on the landscape, clouds drifting across the sky or the haunting, irresistable voices of the sirens from Greek mythology.

On top of all that, my first Debussy recording, a 12″ LP on vinyl, has an amazing photograph on the cover where you are looking across still water toward a softly-focused forest at night with a distant nude female (a water nymph?) standing by the water’s edge. I’ve always loved that photo, and very soon I want to start a painting that will be loosely based on that pic. It will be my own image, but the inspiration for it will be driven by the photo and the magical, mystical music of Claude Debussy.

And besides — I love the moonlight! It’ll all be perfect! I can’t wait to get started.

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