Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Art Inspired by Music

Kathy Rees Johnson, Bagatelles, mixed media on board

The Harstad Fine Arts Series is pleased to present an exhibit of art inspired by music through the month of January. This brings together two of the featured disciplines of the series--music and art! It is also a favorite pairing for me, as this is my third such exhibit. In this exhibit, the artists were inspired by specific pieces of music.

Mary Louise Dean, Swan Lake, oil on canvas
Mary Louise Dean has been a co-exhibitor in each of these exhibits. Here, she offers our exhibition a series of abstract paintings based on her favorite classical music. A common theme is the melodic and mournful minor key of each piece. She listens to the music allowing the 'dance' of the brush on the canvas to inspire the composition and colors. She has been an active plein air painter for the past ten years, and has participated in group shows in Louisville, Lexington and Paris, Ky. Mary Louise and her husband have recently moved to Milwaukee, WI, where she can be closer to family.
Don't miss this chance to see the work of Mary Louise Dean!

Judy Hower, My 'blue boat home', acrylic and ink on canvas
Judy Hower's painting is inspired by the folk song Blue Boat Home by Peter Mayer, folk singer/songwriter.

Blue Boat Home
Though below me, I feel no motion
Standing on these mountains and plains
Far away from the rolling ocean
Still my dry land heart can say
I've been sailing all my life now
Never harbor or port have I known
The wide universe is the ocean I travel
And the Earth is my blue boat home

Sun, my sail, and moon, my rudder,
As I ply the starry sea
Leaning over the edge in wonder
Casting questions into the deep
Drifting here with my ship's companions
All we kindred pilgrim souls
Making our way by the lights of the heavens
In our beautiful blue boat home

I give thanks to the waves upholding me
Hail the great winds urging me on
Greet the infinite sea before me
Sing the sky my sailor's song
I was born upon the fathom's
Never harbor or port have I known
The wide universe is the ocean I travel
And the Earth is my blue boat home
       --Peter Mayer

Kathy Rees Johnson, Adagio, acrylic on board
My passions of Art, Earth and Music come together in my paintings. A deep love for music and creating art meet with celebrating the beauty of the Earth. When listening to music, I often envision landscapes and experience the underlying emotion revealed in the music. My abiding affection for a wide variety of music and landscapes are, hopefully, evident in the exhibited paintings.
I have eight paintings in this exhibit, but I would like to single out Adagio (see image above) because it was inspired by a concert in which Benjamin Karp, cellist, performed. I've written about this in my blog Good, if you would like to explore that further.  Experiencing music live opens up a world of inspiration. This is is your reminder to come to our HFAS concert, Karp & Co. 2, January 26th (more information below) and start planning your new artwork!

Helen Powell, Night on Bald Mountain, oil on canvas
Helen Powell states that 'storms provide color, sound, texture, and movement. These physical attributes are translated by Mussorgsky into an emotional, vibrant piece of music'.  Helen is a perceptive painter of landscapes. She will be the featured artist at the First Presbyterian gallery in March/April with an exhibit titled, Water, Earth, and Sky.

I hope that this has whetted your appetite to see this exhibit in person. Harstad will hold an Open House on Sunday, January 19th, from 3 - 4:30 pm. Our host venue is Faith Lutheran Church, 1000 Tates Creek Road, Lexington, KY. We will have recordings of the music along with simple refreshments. This is a prime opportunity to view the art and chat with artists.

Karp & Co. 2 is the following Sunday, January 26th, 3 pm, also taking place at Faith Lutheran Church, 1000 Tates Creek Road, Lexington, KY.  The Karp & Co trio is created by violinist, Margaret Karp, cellist Benjamin Karp, and pianist Jacob Coleman. Please join us! Tickets available at www.harstadarts.com.