Spring is right around the corner (believe it or not) and although I live in snowy cold Michigan I am dreaming of spring buds, open windows and kayaking. These two recent paintings speak “SPRING” to me. Light, bright, fun and uplifting.
When someone contacted my about creating an original painting to give his wife for their wedding anniversary I was excited about the project. This was a secret so trying to create something for their home without her input was a challenge. I asked the husband to send along photos of their home and spot he thought about hanging it. This gave me a good idea of their color scheme, design style and room layout.
He said he wanted a pop of color in the room and something his wife would be reminded of their love.
This was the end result. She loved it!
These modern abstracts were created while listening to the album “The Blues and the Abstract Truth”. It is a piece of jazz perfection with many great jazz musicians.
You might see the influence of the early 60’s jazz scene in these paintings. They will be shipped to the Martin Wood Showroom (interior design) in the Chicago Merchandise Mart. If you are interested in purchasing one or both of them please contact me. Or you can see them at my booth at the Spring One of a Kind Show in the Chicago Merchandise Mart.
Oliver Nelson Septet – Stolen Moments (1961)
Musicians: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute), Oliver Nelson (tenor sax, arrange), George Barrow (baritone saxophone), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Roy Haynes (drums)
from the album ‘THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH’ (Impulse! Records)
Painting title: Big Joe Henderson
This painting was inspired by the music of Big Joe Henderson. His bebop jazz brings movement and joy into this creative process. He co-led the Jazz Communicators with Freddie Hubbard from 1967 to 1968…another great jazz leader.
Joe Henderson (April 24, 1937 – June 30, 2001) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. In a career spanning more than 40 years Henderson played with many of the leading American players of his day and recorded for several prominent labels, including Blue Note.
Make 2017 the year you make a creative play date with your friends!
Have you spent your adulthood climbing the career ladder, finishing college, raising a family, serving your church, your community? Does it seem like life is passing you by while you finish all of your shoulda’s, coulda’s and woulda’s? You might remember the creative spark you had when you were a child, teen or young adult. Before all the obligations of “adulthood” took all of you time… and your confidence in creating.
Just like any new decision, such as starting a walking program, healthier eating or learning yoga, your creativity needs to begin with the first step. Does this sound like you?
- You feel that you give to others all the time and there’s nothing left for yourself
- You admire others who live more passionately but think that is not for you
- You are afraid to fail
- You believe that either you are born creative or not
- You feel drained by the end of the week and have no energy to experience new activities
- You find yourself zoned out watching television
If you can identify with any of the statements above it IS time to explore your creative nature. Creativity is a natural trait and we are born with the impulse to express ourself. This is often beat out of us by criticism, the fear of peer disapproval, intimidation or our own fears somewhere along your journey into adulthood.
By discovering your creative voice you will discover a portal to your inner soul that speaks soothingly and encouraging. It will allow you take risks and accept yourself fully. Yes, 2017 is the year to step out of your comfort zone and dive into a creative pursuit.
My next workshop is designed for the non-artist and the artist. It explores the painting process with focus on the “process” rather than the end product. It allows you to play. Even if you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since grade school, your desire to express yourself creatively is expressed daily, throughout your home and garden, even in the choices you make when you get dressed.
In my workshops we practice communicating visually while expanding our definition of art, which in turn helps us explore our own creativity. The environment nurtures a safe haven for this process, so my classes are encouraging, free from judgment, and punctuated with Chardonnay breaks. Tapping into our inner resources, we can begin to explore and discover.
Our day begins with a discussion over coffee about living your authentic life and practical steps to incorporate steps into your daily life.
We then head to the studio and paint while listening to great music. We break for lunch and wine and share with each other. Then it’s back to the studio where we finish our work. At the end of the day we return to the living space, show off our masterpieces and continue our creative discussion.
If you would like to join us, the next workshop date is March 3rd and/or March 4th from 10 a.m. – 5p.m. You can register securely online athttp://www.JaneRobinsonAbstractArt.com Additional workshops, painting parties and retreats are scheduled for 2017 so if you can’t make this one, grab a friend and plan to attend an upcoming event.
Come play. Come create. Come connect. Come and discover your creative voice.
You haven’t heard from me in awhile….because everyone else is sucking my time…and soul. Like you I have the best laid plans for the day or week but then my time begins to get sucked up by things and people (most of them I love to death).
My husband has been out of state for the week and I had sooooo been looking forward to time alone so I could paint, work on a project I am creating, clean the studio, eat ice-cream for dinner, take a long fall walk in the woods but NOOOOOOOOO. Little by little people who depend upon me needed my help and I cannot say no to those I love. I had a 99 yr old cousin (Betty) who is alone and scared of death – I go and see her everyday. One of my daughters is a single mother and her youngest had no school today so needed me to have him over night and until she got off work today. Someone rear ended my car so it is in the shop and that is a pain in the ass…insurance claims, estimates, car rentals.
I yearn for my studio. Uninterrupted creative time…no clocks, no obligations…just paint and listen to jazz. Currently I am working on a new project of painting canvas panels to hang from carved wooden rods. Tomorrow I promise myself studio time and will post new photos soon.
Does this happen to you? What is sucking your time?
Do you remember the Bossa Nova? This new painting was inspired by the cool jazz sound of the Bossa Nova. It measures 30X40X1.5 and ready to hang. $1,100.
Bossa nova is a genre of Brazilian music, which developed and was popularized in the 1950s and ’60s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music genres abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally “new trend” (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbɔsɐ ˈnɔvɐ] ( listen)). A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students.
In Brazil, the word “bossa” is old-fashioned slang for something that is done with particular charm, natural flair or innate ability. As early as 1932, Noel Rosa used the word in a samba:
“O samba, a prontidão e outras bossas são nossas coisas, são coisas nossas.” (“The samba, the readiness and other bossas are our things, are things from us.”)
The exact origin of the term “bossa nova” still remains uncertain. Within the artistic beach culture of the late 1950s in Rio de Janeiro, the term “bossa” was used to refer to any new “trend” or “fashionable wave”. In his book Bossa Nova, Brazilian author Ruy Castro asserts that “bossa” was already in use in the 1950s by musicians as a word to characterize someone’s knack for playing or singing idiosyncratically. Castro claims that the term “bossa nova” might have first been used in public for a concert given in 1958 by the Grupo Universitário Hebraico do Brasil (University Hebrew Group of Brazil). This group consisted of Sylvinha Telles, Carlinhos Lyra, Nara Leão, Luizinho Eça, Roberto Menescal, et al. In 1959, Nara Leão also participated in more than one embryonic display of bossa nova. This included the 1st Festival de Samba Session, conducted by the PUC’s (Pontifícia Universidade Católica) student union. This session was then chaired by Carlos Diegues, a law student that Leão ultimately married.
Bossa nova is most commonly performed on the nylon-string classical guitar, played with the fingers rather than with a pick. Its purest form could be considered unaccompanied guitar with vocals, as created, pioneered, and exemplified by João Gilberto. Even in larger, jazz-like arrangements for groups, there is almost always a guitar that plays the underlying rhythm. Gilberto basically took one of the several rhythmic layers from a samba ensemble, specifically the tamborim, and applied it to the picking hand. According to Brazilian musician Paulo Bitencourt, João Gilberto, known for his eccentricity and obsessed by the idea of finding a new way of playing the guitar, often locked himself in the bathroom, where he played one and the same chord for many hours in a row.
Drums & percussion
As in samba, the surdo plays a sort of “heartbeat” rhythm on beat one, the “and” of beat two, beat three, and the “and” of beat four. The clave pattern sounds very similar to the two-three or three-two son clave of Cuban styles such as mambo but is dissimilar in that the “two” side of the clave is pushed by an eighth note. Also important in the percussion section for bossa nova are the pandeiro—played on beats two and four—and the cabasa, which plays a steady eighth-note or sixteenth-note pattern.
Certain other instrumentations and vocals are also part of the structure of bossa nova:
Bossa nova and samba
Bossa nova has at its core a rhythm based on samba. Samba combines the rhythmic patterns and feel originating in former African slave communities. Samba’s emphasis on the second beat carries through to bossa nova (to the degree that it is often notated in 2/4 time). However, unlike samba, bossa nova doesn’t have dance steps to accompany it. When played on the guitar, in a simple one-bar pattern, the thumb plays the bass notes on 1 and 2, while the fingers pluck the chords in unison on the two eighth notes of beat one, followed by the second sixteenth note of beat two. Two-measure patterns usually contain a syncopation into the second measure. Overall, the rhythm has a “swaying” feel rather than the “swinging” feel of jazz. As bossa nova composer Carlos Lyra describes it in his song “Influência do Jazz”, the samba rhythm moves “side to side” while jazz moves “front to back”. Bossa nova was also influenced by the blues, but because the most famous bossa novas lack the 12-bar structure characteristic of classic blues, as well as the statement, repetition and rhyming resolution of lyrics typical of the genre, bossa nova’s affinity with the blues often passes unnoticed.
Aside from the guitar style, João Gilberto’s other innovation was the projection of the singing voice. Prior to bossa nova, Brazilian singers employed brassy, almost operatic styles. Now, the characteristic nasal vocal production of bossa nova is a peculiar trait of the caboclo folk tradition of north-eastern Brazil.
Themes and lyrics
The lyrical themes found in bossa nova include women, love, longing, homesickness, nature, and the best of youth. There are two thematic types of bossa nova: the early bossa nova (beginning in the late 1950s), and the bossa nova after the coup d’état of 1964. The musical lyrics of the late 1950s depicted the easy life of the middle to upper-class Brazilians, though the majority of the population was in the working class. However, in conjunction with political developments of the early 1960s (especially the 1964 coup d’état), bossa nova style became more “angry”, with lyrics becoming more thematically charged, referring explicitly to people’s struggles and liberty.
Every imaginable medium of art is on display at the Ann Arbor Art Fair that opens today — prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture fiber works, ceramics, jewelry, wood, glass, leather, mixed media, digital and craftwork. Let’s see, what else? Oh, yeah:
With the work of more than 1,000 artists on display at the fair, which runs through Saturday, it’s a little surprising that just about 13% of the artists — roughly 130 — are working in the fundamental medium of painting. The good news for those who love the thrill of paint, especially oils or acrylics on a support base like canvas, is that the fair boasts enough work in all manner of figurative and abstract styles for folks to get their fill. You just have to be patient.
“It’s true that you do have to search a little bit, but I don’t feel lonely,” said Jane Robinson, an abstract painter who lives and works in Jackson. “It’s perfectly fine that people come to the fair looking for $50 earrings, but those who are interested in original paintings will find me. They’ll spot me from four or five booths away.”
Now in its 56th year, the Ann Arbor Art Fair is one of the oldest and largest events of its kind in the country. It is actually four independent fairs that merge into a single organism, while each individual fair retains a unique character based on geography, art, prices, mission, history and surrounding businesses.
The highest concentration of quality work — especially painting — can be found at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original, and at Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair.
Andy Fletcher, who lives in Wisconsin on the Mississippi River, will be showing his paintings at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. He does mostly landscapes, creating soft-focused, moody pictures of broad, rural horizons, quiet farmhouses and subtle forms. The size of his work ranges from 7-by-10 inches up to 30-by-50 inches, with prices from about $250 to $2,500.
“Painting helps me make sense of the world,” said Fletcher, 37. “It captures who I am more than anything else.”
Of course, many artists would say something similar about their favorite medium, whatever it may be. Still, there is something magical about the emotional impact of paint on canvas — the depth and nuance of expression that a loaded brush can convey, the power of color, the physical immediacy of a great painting and the incomparable tradition and history of the medium dating back thousands of years.
“Things happen more slowly when I paint,” said Fletcher. “It’s very personal and meditative. I remember my emotional reactions to things, and where I come from and who I am — it all shows up in the decisions of what I include and what I don’t.”
Though Robinson works in a different style rooted in mid-20th Century abstract expressionism, her paintings also reflect her core being. There’s an improvisatory rhythm to her lines, shapes, colors and gestures that grows out of her love of jazz.
Her work can be seen at Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair. She mostly works on a large scale, with paintings up to 6 feet tall. Prices range from $150 to $1,200.
When Robinson was a teenager, she worked in a record store along side musicians, and one day, they played her Miles Davis’ “A Tribute to Jack Johnson,” and she was hooked.
“Abstract painting speaks the same language,” she said. “It can be free and flowing, with punches of personality. If you listen closely to musicians who are improvising, you can hear the nuances and how they play off each other.”
Robinson, who paints while listening to music, tries to bring a similar sensibility to the canvas. “There’s an immediacy to the expression,” she said. “Moving the brush, blending color and then doing a sudden bold stroke.”
Contact Mark Stryker: 313-222-6459 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Title: Strawberry Fields, 36X36X1.5
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. The song was written by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. It was inspired by Lennon’s memories of playing in the garden of Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army children’s home near where he grew up in Liverpool.
The song was the first track recorded during the sessions for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and was intended for inclusion on the album. Instead, with the group under record-company pressure to release a single, it was issued in February 1967 as a double A-side with “Penny Lane“. The combination reached number two in Britain, breaking the band’s four-year run of chart-topping singles there, while “Strawberry Fields Forever” peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in America.
Numerous music critics consider it to be one of the group’s best and most adventurous recordings. Among the breakthroughs it established in studio techniques of the time, for a single release, the track incorporates reverse-recorded instrumentation and tape loops, and was created from the editing together of two separate versions of the song – each one entirely different in tempo, mood and musical key. The song was later included on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP (although not on the British double EP package of the same name).
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is one of the defining works of the psychedelic rock genre and has been covered by many artists. The Beatles made a promotional film clip for the song that is similarly recognised for its influence in the medium of music video. The Strawberry Fields memorial in New York’s Central Park is named after the song
You might have noticed that I never sign my abstract paintings on the front. Why? Because I want you, the collector, to decide the orientation for your personality and your space. I love this painting but I would probably hang is horizontally over the side board in our dining area. But it not stay in this location forever and I might decide to hang it vertically in the hallway next year. With the absence of a signature on the front the options belong to you.
The title of this painting was inspired by the jazz song “Surrender” by Jonathon Butler. Jonathan Kenneth Butler is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music is often classified as R&B, jazz fusion or worship music. Born and raised in Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa, during Apartheid, Butler started singing and playing acoustic guitar as a child.
Add some abstract moxy in your life. #AbstractMoxy