Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spencer Spit and all that jazz

today's painting
Spencer Spit
8 x 8
pastel on BFK

February 21 painting

Using the same basic shapes, I painted Spencer Spit again but with a different palette. Theme and variations. I love stuff like this!

Painting like this, painting many variations of a basic design is a lot like playing jazz with a band. You usually start out with something that's pretty straight and the melody or tune is obvious. Then, you hand it off to the saxophone player and he stretches and bends things around. The rest of the band keeps playing the structure, the chords underneath the solo, but the sax, well, he wails! If he's hot, he may take it an extra time around, another 16 bars or so. All of the other musicians nod their heads and can't keep the goofy grins off their faces because it's so amazing to be a part of that sound!

When the trumpet takes it, well, if he's good, he will pull your heart out of your chest, blow on it twice, and throw it back before you know what's happened.

With these paintings, so far it's still pretty straight and the melody sits on top of the rhythm like a good horseman. But I can hear the future and it's calling me to jam.


William Cook said...

These paintings are coming along very well! I'm liking the exploratory feel of the whole group including the thumbs. The textural components of the last two are amplifying them well. And I'm so glad to be treated to the musical component. Why should we divorce all the other dimensions of the art experience? I'm trakin' baby, trakin' (right PAMO?). Did you pick up on that Charlie Mingus link I posted, "Moanin"? There's a sax you'll never forget. How do I get these YouTubes to show up in my posts like this, I've been meaning to ask? Very cool post! I
m going to google earth Spencer Spit.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thanks, William. My first exposure to music was classical stuff, which I still love in a first love kind of way. But, when my kids took up instruments and began playing in jazz bands, I was lost to it. Years of jazz festivals, small group ensemble rehearsals, going to hear live bands, talking to musicians, hearing Lionel Hampton, Bill Watrous, Mel Brown, Thera Memory, Patrick Lamb, and many other greats LIVE put even more sizzle in my love affair with jazz. Music holds most of my life metaphors, so I'll keep putting them out there. Thanks for reading and trackin'.

Word verification: traggit!