Meeting Notes, March 5, 2015

At today's meeting Loretta, Tim, Stephanie, Kristina, Charlie, Chris, Bill, Tim, Joanne, Annie, Jeanie, Erin, Jerry, Eunice, Barbara, Susan, Jim, Betsy, Brenda, Kay, Thomas, and me Celeste. 

Today's suggested table topic: rhythm and movement in painting... are there parallels between music and visual art? Tell us what you think. 

Celeste: When I heard this topic I thought "this is a no-brainer". Of course, every painting has rhythm. However, when I looked at my old work I realized many of my paintings (especially from the beginning) were quite static and lacking in rhythm. I think rhythm in painting probably stems from the energy and confidence of the painter. It's about the brushstrokes. I brought in paintings that I think do have rhythm. 

Eunice: You could take a section of a sheet of music and paint trees in those positions. That would guarantee a lyrical and rhythmic painting for sureI I do use rhythm in my paintings. I like a book called Melodic Vision by Clyde Aspesvig. 

Jerry: The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this topic was John Cage. I think we are transported into the work as we go along. The energy within yourself will make itself visible and tangible. If your energy is good it will show itself. If your energy is low...that will show too. The best situation is that you just forget about it all. I brought in a painting that I did while on site. I also recommend this book: Where the Heart Beats.

Erin: I haven't really thought about rhythm in my paintings... but I painted this last night and I think it has a positive abstract quality to it. I painted it while listening to music. I like to listen to music and it adds something emotional for me. I like to listen to music that has no words generally. 

Jeanie: I will pass speaking today. 

Annie: I focused on the word direction. I brought in a example of how a illustrator plans. Western culture has us read books from left to right. So generally artists place objects left to right (and that is comfortable). Sometimes we can change this to the opposite, if we want to make something uncomfortable. I brought him an example of this. 

Joanne: I brought in a painting of North Beach, CA.  I can usually find a rhythm and movement in paintings. I don't listen to music while I paint. I am showing you also a painting of a portrait. I think I handle rhythm naturally. It's just the way I work. 

Thim: This topic made me think of when I was drawing in a group. While the music was on there people were just grooving to it. They would also be singing to the music. And I realized I was actually drawing to the music. 

Chris: Some music doesn't work for me!  I brought in some paintings that I did over the 30 day challenge. I am going to stick to my batik method. (As a matter of fact I am going to begin teaching it). 

Charlie:  I like to have quiet when I'm looking at artwork. I'll even sometimes use earplugs at an exhibit! I brought in a drawing I did with oil pastels. Here is my photo reference and my results.  

Bill: Most of the masterful paintings that we are familiar with can be likened to Symphonies. All of the strokes are integrated in the paintings.... like music. I brought in a elemental study, it has rhythm to me. I also brought him a painting I did at Hipbone studios. 

Kristina: I have to confess I sometimes listen to murder mysteries on TV while painting (Laughter)!. I don't know what this does to my paintings. (Laughter)! The painting I brought today is on the wall. 

Stephanie: I like classical music. I think when I am listening to it,  it finds its way into my work. When I was in Junior High I had a class where we had to combine different disciplines (like art and music). I brought in a painting of a cat.

Tim: I don't paint while thinking of rhythm. If rhythm finds its way into my work... I'm not aware. I just paint the scene as best I can. I painted this at the Guy Talbot Park. 

Loretta: I like rhythm and movement. That is the energy of the artist. It's like your own heartbeat. If certain types of music are being played I sometimes have to leave the room.....and come back when it is over (Laughter)! 

Barbara: it is said that Yo-Yo Ma (the cellist) once looked at birds on a wire and played the cello just as the birds were arranged. I brought in two of my paintings that seem to have rhythm. 

Tom: I would like to bring in some of my other paintings that I have but they are way too big to bring in here. I brought in a painting of trees. This painting seems to have quite a bit of rhythm. 

Brenda: I almost always paint to music. It was proven to me one time that the music does show itself in my work.  I was privy to an entire discussion between the subject and her daughter while I did my work. The discussion was about the Opera that was being played. It was great because they were having a full-fledged exchange about the music and they were very knowledgeable about the story. Later the daughter showed me that the music had affected my work..specifically.  It surprised and delighted me to see that it was true. I am showing you a detail of a painting I recently did that has rhythm in it. 

Thomas: Well, settle in I have a lot to say! (Laughter)! My mother was a musician and she wanted me to be a musician too. Instead I went to design school. In design school we had rigorous exercises that have to do with shapes, in particular squares. We had to do these arduous exercises to make designs out of these squares. In retrospect, I think that background does serve me now. Have you ever seen the movie Fantasia? (If you haven't, you should). It is the consummate experience of color, shape, pattern, narrative and music. Music is a linear expression through space. An artist  can use repetition and movement in many ways. There has to be variation. I like to say: "same-same, bad-bad". (It's unfavorable to put two like things together in a painting). I like the quotation "start anywhere"....Also, "If it ain't got that swing it don't mean a thing". (Laughter)! When you do a technically good painting you have to also check to see if there are links and connections that will carry the viewer. I am back from Mexico. It was a team teaching experience.  I brought a painting that I did from San Miguel. It is a painter's paradise! 

Betsy: I brought in two paintings.  I will be having a show of 14 of my paintings at the Terwilliger Plaza. (Congratulations, Betsy)!

Jim: I have done some more paintings of Brenda's daughter. I am not trying to have them look like her. I am more interested in creating attitude. I am having fun with these. I am putting in whatever backgrounds I want and just experimenting.  I am going to try some wax medium on this painting to reduce the gloss. I listen to all kinds of music when I am working. I like Latin music and jazz. It absolutely does have an effect on me as I am painting.( A positive affect on me). 
It is important to never make two things the same in your painting. 

Thomas interjected here to show us something great in one of Jim King's paintings about the angles and how there are "counterpoints" to some of the angles. 

Kay:  I had an experience where I was listening to rock and roll and I was just "splat-splatting" the paint onto the canvas. It was a very successful painting. The music really showed in the paint. I brought in a painting from studio 30 to show you. This painting is quite static...she's just sitting there in a chair. (It is not really a is better described as a study). I am trying to not blend. I am trying to put values into the shapes correctly. I made use of Photoshop to complete this painting.  I changed the reality. 

Susan: If you want to know anything about rhythm and movement ... look at the work of Albert Handel. I was fortunate to study with him. He really gets it! I am an art teacher to young people. Children have shown me over and over again they want to be organized and they will put things very statically into a drawing or painting. Everything will be evenly spaced. This seems to be some innate human condition because even adults do this (place things evenly). In order to have an interesting painting we can't do that.  I brought in paintings that show movement and rhythm. My son made a music playlist for me recently. It has Joni Mitchell in it. He listens to so much music... he even listens to "my" music. When I was young I did Pre-Raphaelite copies to Joni Mitchell's music.  Listening to her again transported me right back to that time. 


 PNCA a is having a First Thursday opening at 511 SW Broadway. (This is the Federal Building where Grimm is filmed).

Brenda Boylan is having a pop-up gallery show First Friday and this weekend with Anton Pavlenko's Gallery on Gideon.

Steve Kleier: artist reception at Brian Marki's on first Friday (March 6). (Congratulations, Steve)

Joanne Mehl will give a demonstration at studio 30 on March 13. (There is no studio 30 March 6). RSVP to

The Columbia Art Gallery Plein Air 2015 call to artists (deadline March 31):

There is a workshops page on Facebook where you can scroll through workshops for the year.

The Thursday Drawing Club met today at Medley Tea. All of the photographs are in the slideshow on the front page, Direct link:

Thank you to everyone for coming today and sharing your ideas and paintings. 

Next topic (March 12): "The practice of Art demands a man's whole self" ---Delacroix    .....(How much "self" are you devoting to the practice of art? What is your schedule? Is your schedule planned and organized-- or not?)

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