Q & A: Music and Painting

Question: Hello, I’m curious about one aspect of your creative process. Do you actually listen to jazz while you paint? If so, how does it help you creatively? Christina R., Warrick, Rhode Island

Thanks for the questions, Christina. Listening to music is something I sometimes do when painting, but not always. I consider the “creative process” and the painting process to be primarily two separate things, I’m sure other artists have a different take on this. For me, the true creative aspect of a painting is in the development of the idea, particularly in the sketch and colors. By the time I’m actually painting, I’ve pretty much worked out all the aspects of what I want to do in that piece. It then becomes a matter of just going in and painting the piece the way I see it in my head.

Regarding music again, I used to have a kind of  ‘ritual’ where I would sit down, usually on a Saturday night, and sketch while listening to a new piece of music for the first time. I found that it made me listen better and made the sketching process feel less like fishing for an idea. It was just kind of relaxing and, inevitably, a few ideas would emerge from those sessions. I don’t do that very much anymore. Instead, I’ve developed another methodology for sessions which I’ll write about in an upcoming post, as that’s kind of an answer to another question. Thanks for writing.
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