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Friday, January 29, 2016

Choosing the Right Painting Music

'Southern Spring'        8x10         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
My paintings have soundtracks. I can look at a painting and hear the music that I was playing when I painted it.   When I have selected the right music for the painting it shows in the work. The painting flows and it becomes part of the dance. Music brings in another sensory experience to the mix.  But it has to be the right music.

I like to pick music that fits the theme or concept of my painting. If I am painting a Southwestern landscape I love to listen to Native American flute music. It puts me right in the middle of the desert. When I returned home from Iceland I began listening to Icelandic bands as I painted from my plein air studies and reference photos. The music took me back and became intertwined with the painting.

The Right Music

This week I have an epic project going on in the studio. Sixteen huge panels fill my studio and one by one I am painting them with southern landscapes in acrylic. It requires an epic soundtrack. I found the perfect 'Painting Large' music on Spotify. I created my own station consisting of epic movie soundtracks.....think Star Wars, Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean. Big soundtracks played loud!  It elevates me and helps me rise to that task of big bold brushstrokes.

I am working on the last set of panels tonight and all I need to do is turn on my epic music to put me in the right frame of mind. Here are a few progress shots of painting #7

The block-in is the pink. I am starting the trees and background

Adding foliage and shadows on the path

Getting ready to paint the sky holes.

Finished! There is glare in this photo. I'll be sharing final photos soon
What do you listen to when you paint? I listen to music most of the time but sometimes I listen to talk radio or podcasts. I love listing to the radio program Artists Helping Artists with Leslie Saeta. Leslie and her guest hosts always have such great interviews. I am very excited to be the guest next Thursday February 4th so be sure to tune in!


Alejandra Gos said...

I will listen! How exciting!!

Carol Schiff said...

I worked on the same project, Karen. I found the acrylics difficult to work with and finished them with a thin layer of oils.

This is beautiful!

Liese Sadler said...

I did some research about the best streaming service for supporting musicians ...we want to support all art right? Spotify came out as one of the worst. So do some google-fu and decide what your ethics can live with. I listen to NPR (and am a sustaining member), especially the weekend editions and their Desk Concerts to find new artists, then buy downloads. That seems to get the most money into the pockets of the musicians.

Besides Artists Helping Artists, check out The Savvy Painter, no adverts and terrific interviews. Listening makes cleaning palettes, brushes and other studio chores a breeze.

robertsloan2art said...

I was thinking, oh that's not me, I don't listen to music to set the mood when I paint... till you mentioned epic sound tracks. Yep. Those are perfect for a big scale!

There is a reason I don't listen to music when I paint. It's because if I did, I would put up my art stuff and write a novel. Music is my prompt to write. What works for art is having a familiar movie or video with a plot going, I listen to it and barely glance at it. Often art instruction videos are great for it, especially after they're familiar.

Sue Marrazzo said...

LOVE your work!

Sheila said...


Tim Moore said...

March Artist Magazine has a short article with a list of art related podcasts...