Inspiration for a picture can come at any time, any place – from sitting at a red light to sitting in front of the TV. I never know when and what is going to sideswipe me with a little voice screaming, “must paint that image in head NOW.”
However, I do have a favorite place to conjure up all sorts of visual inspiration - an aisle seat at Ruth Eckerd Hall listening to the Florida Orchestra. It’s live, it’s vivid, it’s here and now- violin bows frantically attacking strings, an oboe crying in the night, or my favorite (see previous blog post) a cowbell peeking up from the percussionist row, a drum stick hovering over it, to be whacked at the exact moment in the score. Ahhh, heaven.
I sit quietly in my seat sketching head-busting visualizations in my tiny notebook. (In actuality, I really want to stand in the back row, slopping paint on large canvases to the music.) When the concert is over, I go home refreshed, renewed, and ready for the week ahead with new inspiration.
Most of the time, I don’t review my orchestra sketches: It’s over, done, move on to something else – oh, a reflection shows up in a painting down the road. But this picture begged to be painted. I pounded nails into my backyard fence, hung a 5’x3’ canvas; dragged brushes, paints, water out into the heat and humidity and started slopping on the acrylics. My neighbors must have thought I was nuts.
The result was this image. Title: “Golijov Last Round; Law & Order-Wm. Running …. Through Central Park” Now it’s your turn to visualize what it all means.
And maybe you’ll see me this upcoming season. I’ll be on the aisle hovering over a sketch book. That is unless they let me stand in the back row with paints, brushes, canvas, and of course, a drop cloth. Or maybe the Florida Orchestra needs a professional cow bell player – then I’ll be in percussionist row with a cowbell and drum stick in hand.