Updated: Jul 13, 2021
This is a sneak preview of artwork that I am releasing this week. The reason I want to share this with you before it is finished is because of the overwhelming feeling that I had when I reached a particular stage of it today, and the influence of certain music that was very prominent in this afternoon’s studio work.
I am not sure which inspired which today, the music or the art. But I reached the make-or-break point of this piece of artwork, and it crossed my mind that the next stroke of the brush could very well kill it right there in the next few seconds.
If it went well, I knew it would be special. If it went badly, the picture would not be completely lost, but the struggle I have endured in deciding on the mixture of colour and tone, would be unsurmountable. This may therefore become one of those ‘experimental’ moments of art, and I knew my idea was worth so much more than just a notional comment to myself that I could have done better as I place it in the rear of the cupboard, never to see daylight again.
I had a deadline to meet which you may understand, so there was no going back once I made the move.
I had spent some time daydreaming, trying to solve the issue between the flat sculpture tones that I had created, and the contrast that would exist with the background that I needed in some way to complement the figure. The deadline loomed and the rose-tinted glasses let through a glint of a possibility. I reached for some music and stepped up to the canvas, making my mark with the paint I had half-heartedly mixed whilst my mind wandered.
That mark that would hold me to account for years to come, I am sure of it. This was the one mark I needed to be right. All my experience, all my storytelling coming together in one exciting movement, immersed in trepidation and desire. The need to finally create modern contemporary artwork that someone would want without hesitation and want with the desire that I have for creating the image before me.
The mark was made. I turned to turn the music to something else and looking back from an angle with a wry smile, I knew the music that I would play. The three songs that yesterday I told my son Connor would be my heart beating, rhythm setting, motivational creating songs. And they came, one after the other, hitting me like the body blows of impact sport facing a formidable opponent, when the odds are against you and the terms of the fight mean far more than just that next technique, so you therefore take the blows until your moment presents itself.
"Tonight is What it Means to be Young" comes first, setting the pace. This is followed by "Teenage Wildlife", both being lesser-known songs that are not played on commercial radio. Therefore, they fill my studio with good intent and personal motivation, feeding the passion of my self-indulgence, reminding me that they are my songs and not for sharing.
The third emotionally uplifting sound complements my creativity as I take stock and listen as "Jungleland" engages a third gear, and the problem of colour and complement dissipate being quickly replaced by excitement and enthusiasm.
If you know of these songs, who sings them, and the feeling that the three combined together can create, then you'll know exactly the artwork that I had just imagined, sketched and set alight with my passion and desire.
I stand before the canvas, emotionally charged and willing my work to come alive as I apply another layer of depth, being led by the musical atmosphere of my studio. A few more layers, a couple of adjustments and this painting will be ready to be revealed, my thoughts tell me.
One more day and it will be there, just in time for a particular deadline.
And in sight of the finish line, I just had to share this with you, the emotional drive of music and art coming straight from my soul, in true pursuit of creative excellence and the journey it is taking me on. Nothing can replace that moment, that feeling, that addiction.
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