Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Violin as Visual Art

Isn't it great when you get to benefit something you love by doing something you love? Classical music inspires me and I love violins — the way they sound and their sculptural form (you may have noticed that they frequently show up in my artwork). So when I was one of 24 artists invited to paint a violin to be auctioned to raise money for the Utah Symphony I said “Yes!” They gave me a violin that was no longer good for making music. I sanded it, painted it white with gesso and began my creative brainstorming. I wanted to create something colorful, cheerful, and harmonious with the shape of the violin.

My idea came to me out of the studio so I sketched it on the back of an envelope, then at the studio I refined my sketch and made some color studies. I did the drawing actual size and transfered it onto the violin.

It was a little challenging painting on an object that has no flat surfaces.
I covered the instrument with birds, flowers, vine leaves and even insects on the sides, so I decided to call my violin “Summertime".

The violins were on display in various galleries and at Abravanel Hall before each symphony concert starting in December and ending at the Utah Symphony Guild’s fundraising auction event called “Heart Strings” that culminated on Valentine’s Day. All of the proceeds from the auction benefit the Utah Symphony and its outreach programs. I heard the event was a big success and raised lots of money...that's music to my ears.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beautiful Blend in Animation

I recently saw an inspiring and beautiful performance by the award-winning animator Miwa Matreyek at the Salt Lake Art Center’s “New Frontier” exhibition in conjunction with the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Miwa performs behind a large screen where her own shadow silhouette beautifully combines and interacts live with the projected animation of her wonderfully illustrated environment. You can see excerpts from the performance “Myth and Infrastructure” on vimeo and learn more about this fascinating artist on her website. I particularly loved the part where she becomes an island with fish swimming around her, and a camp is set up on her back, and birds swoop down to capture fish out of the sea. I found it enchanting and wanted to share it here with you.

“New Frontier” is an intriguing exhibition that runs until March 25 highlighting multimedia work that pushes the boundaries of storytelling and the moving image where film, art and new technologies converge.