Photo 1: Wildfire final image on the easels. This artwork does not photograph well against the light background and the cloudy North light.
This is my final thoughts on the Wildfire video I uploaded to my YouTube. I have this account, to document through the years the progress of turning sheet music into art.
I did this video on January 6th thinking this artwork music box was done. It was not. Later in the day, I went about my studio, setting the goal of putting 100 items back in their proper space, before starting a new project. That was when I discovered I had forgotten to attach and make a number of other small musical items needed to complete the artwork. Sheet music designates, for example, some of them as a tie or a slur, or accidentals. I call all my additions to the artwork that are not notes incidentals. They now appear in the updated photo.
I am really impressed by the sound of this music. I built my music using a Bose system on my Windows 10 PC, and for the first time the sound difference between my Bose and my music box system is close to each other. In comparison the music box sound is lacking a small amount of bass, clarity, and depth of the sound. More effort on the music would bring the differences closer, but I need to move on.
For my next project I am already building the cover music for the 2016 music artwork, Under Pressure upgrade to a music box.
Here is the music box Wildfire, with all of its canvases attached. This artwork has a length of a respectable (my size standard) seventy inches by Thirty-three and a quarter. Next up I will build and attached the stereo system and after a little more finishing work, this project will be completed next week.
Here is where I piled the music. I needed my large tables to put the artwork’s canvases together.
This is the first time where I am used tape to remove the top layer of paint to reveal my graffiti lyrics from the music. Previously, I have always drawn words on the top layer of paint and then scratch them away with a pallet knife to obscure them while revealing the base paint.
My original scratch off technique used a small pallet knife with a rounded edge. This type of tool gave me to the control to create a lot of variety in the pattern and the direction when scratching off the top layer of paint. But because each project is unique in materials and paint choices, the quality of the results varied a lot over the years. I attempted several changes that did not solve this consistency issue. Then I stumbled on a partial solution. By accident I placed a piece of tape on a fresh top layer of paint on the artwork Flight from the City. I went from dread to wow when I saw the look and the pleasant effects the tape had made when removed. Depending how it was stuck on to the paint, the results varied nicely. The removing of the top layer of paint with tape also resulted in cleaner edges, no lifting of the paint, and no bottom layer damage that the metal edge of the pallet knife often did. The tape also allowed me to create straighter lines, which could appear to be representing the staff lines in sheet music. Of course they are not, but the straight lines look works with my musical notes.
Up next the finished artwork Wildfire with what I consider to be surprisingly good cover music.
A would like to comment about the following video about Metamorphosis 2. This artwork is the last of three pieces dedicated to the architect Frank Gehry. I took the colors used on the canvases from a picture of The Neue Zollhof in Dusseldorf, Germany. I made this video recovering from a terrible cold, not COVID. I never lost my sense of smell and taste and which I tested negative for. This video does not display my usual upbeat mood, and that comes not only from my cold but from my disappointment in the status of today’s Contemporary Art. To me, what I am seeing in today’s art is all crafty with a few words of deep thought and concerning in the artist’s statement to create the appearance of art and an artist that has deep principles and concerns. That seems to be all the rage in exhibitions and galleries, that and displaying master craftwork. It is all so blah blah, blah to me. I know craft can be desirable and valuable. Got that. It is just that I am not seeing any Art. I am not saying this artwork is Art. A lot of craft has gone into creating this physical music box. But unlike craft, I am not trying to create a pristine, finely polished, perfect technical skill object. What I am putting together may not be Art, but I don’t consider it as craft either. It is what I am. It is all that I am and will be. That is the only way I can put in the work and time needed for each of these music boxes.
Define what is and is not Art? OK, this is my revise version that I came up with after listening to dozens of different explanations of What is Art, at this Art Assignment YouTube Video and then realizing that I am not trying to define what is art, but in actuality I want to define what is not art. I quote five words from the Art Assignment video, for right now those words best represent what I am thinking. I am sure I will find my own substitutions in time.
Art vs Craft
All art is craft Not all craft is art the difference is art was and always will be “an open and ever evolving” perception. Craft is a product.
I started this project on April 9th and completed it on May 25th with the installation of the music. The cover music I put together starting on April 9th. That is the first step of these current projects. Unlike pervious covers, my working cover music for Metamorphosis 2 was the final version in need of tweaking only. In the past I would put together my cover music in the notation software Notion, using the piano, no matter if that was the main instrument or not. Once satisfied with the flow of the music, I would then create the artwork. Finishing the artwork, I would then return the cover music and to add other instruments and improve the sound quality in my DAW, StudioOne, before installing it. Because this artwork took almost seven weeks to complete, I was totally out of touch with the original cover music. Thankfully, I kept this project limited to one instrument, the piano, which simplified the entire cover music process, in Notion and StudioOne. Finally, on the 26th I added interest items which were all those narrow horizontal pieces attached to the notes, completing this project.
My biggest surprise with the cover music was how loud it could be, and the sound quality of the piano, which I thought was good and almost comparable to my computer’s Bose stereo system. I think I have reached a good level of speaker box development considering the limitations. Here is the final licensed cover music for Metamorphosis 2.
I no longer can think of or remember my feelings toward creating this cover music and this music box. It has taken so long to complete this project that all the emotions that have gone into creating this artwork have faded. I am happy to have finished it. I enjoy the music and like the look and the size of this artwork, which is more my style with little concern for market friendliness. The next artwork will start soon although I don’t have a clue what music I will paint next.
I am already evolving
Art vs Craft (new version 2)
All art is craft Not all craft is art. the difference is art was and always will be an ever open revolving door of perception. Craft is a product
This is a follow up video showing an actual finished artwork. I forgot to create the incidentals for the music box. Those add-ons include a sharp, a flat, a tie, a couple of flags, and four beams. They are there to give music box more of a musical look that is common in sheet music. Although not as much with this artwork, all those little additions add interest and are decorative. The video discusses this and the sampling process used for the visual part of this portrait of a song.
For many years, whatever musical phrase I picked for the subject, that is what I would paint. When I added sound, I continued with that idea, painting the entire length of the music. As my musical skill and interest increased, it became apparent that I had to either reduce the size of the music that I was portraying or increase the size of the artwork. The ever-increasing length and composition of the cover music was growing. For the viewer this also made it increasingly difficult to follow the music and the visual together. The problem was that the music had involved to be as important as the artwork that was portraying it.
To get hold of what I was creating, I set a one minute thirty second maximum time limit on themusic. Then, from that cover music, I would select a piece, or a sample, to portray as the visual. Hopefully, this will keep these artworks to a length, and a construction timeline, that I can handle.
I see it this way: full-length paintings of portraits are few in numbers compared, for example, with portraits from the waist up. It is like the portrait painter is sampling the image of a person. My music paintings and now my music boxes are, and have always been portraits of a song.
In the video I give the viewer, awkwardly, an example of how the music is represented in the visual. I have nothing else to add to that except this entire process of combing the visual art with performance art is continuing to continue to be a continuing evolution. So it goes.
There were major issues with the focus of this video, that annoyed me, but published it anyway. I was happy (in my way) with the content and the enthusiasm of this video. To then try to repeat all of my spontaneous responses to my own comments, in the same way, that would not happen. This focusing issue resulted in spending precious afternoon studio hours testing different solutions. Surprised, a setting change to my Canon 5D mark IV, and to my external microphone setup, resulted in good-to-go for now focus.
I do have this comment not mentioned in the video. The smaller than my normal sized canvas, mostly white painted, and the larger size of the music, along with my black colored staffs, is the reason that the music dominates this music box. The temporary off white support for this work also it blends too easily with the canvas. What is the obvious difference with works from this last year is that those canvases are larger and filled with more colors that contrast. For this project, white and muted grays were my options if I wanted to use the cover of The Beatles White Album as my template. Because of my history with photography I live to capture contrast in my photos and my artworks. I did so a little. So it is. So it is not.