Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summer Rhythms

"Summer Rhythms," Mary Pal

After a couple of false starts in my sketchbook, where I found myself always reverting to a representational interpretation, I sat down with headphones and listened again carefully to the selection.  I waited for colors and shapes to appear and jotted them down.  As I look at the finished piece, I know exactly which sections of the music each row of shapes refers to, so I can hear the music when I look at them.

This was a totally new way of working for me.  One false start, of course, evolved into a portrait with wavy hair containing all the movement of the music.  But I scrapped that because I knew that working in our own usual style was not the goal here.  My second false start was a tree in a summer storm.  Again, that was not me responding to the music but making a story from the musical inspiration.

"Summer Rhythms" detail
Finally, I placed silk and cotton fabrics (and of course some cheesecloth) in colors that were as lively as the music, onto plain white linen, and matched them with Caran d'Ache crayons and threads. This was great fun, totally out of my realm of experience, and I'm looking forward to the next challenge!


  1. Very interesting to see how these interpretations of theme relate through shape and color.

  2. Let's hear it for false starts! Getting out of your comfort zone really works for you! Well done, Mary!

  3. Your piece is festive and bright and I admire your courage to step outside the box. Great work!

  4. This is quite a departure from your other work, but still as beautiful. I liked reading about the patient, thoughtful approach you took creating this piece.

  5. Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone Mary. The white background lives the coloured elements such life and vibrancy. I love the 'simplicity' of the repeated shapes.

  6. Bravo, Mary! After reading your response, I felt like I'd cheated as I did move into something that told a story and was representational. I commend your "bravery" and love the way this piece almost reads like a musical score. So neat!