Sunday, July 10, 2011

Something(s) Old... and Something New!

"Summertime... and the livin' is easy"...! "Summer breeze... makes me feel fine... goin thru' the jasmine of my mind..."! "Heard it thru the Grapevine..."! And the beat goes on!

Music has been an integral touchstone for "Me" throughout my lifetime.... but never does it tug more strongly on my memory and "being"... than in summer. I can practically reenact my entire lifetime through a treasury of summer anthems.... "Classics"... that continue to be replayed im my mind...and enjoyed as well... by generation after generation. These "golden oldies" somehow manage to bridge gaps... and more lately it seems... abysses that separate young and old.

Even in the constantly morphing and competitive music industry itself... these standards resurface continually with the newest spin or tempo. Take Marvin Gaye's "Heard It Through the Grapevine" as an example. Gladys Knight and the Pips... and Creedence Clearwater revival both successfully breathed fresh life into... no resurrected that Motown Magic for yet another trip on the musical merry-go-round. I heard it while painting... "the dory" this week... cranked up the volume and boogied my way around the studio the way I did "way back when"... a zillion years ago!

Most of "You"... young uns' out... most likely can identify with my silliness... and the strengthening of artistic spirit which music activates... and sustains. Music knows no politic... crosses all barriers and never fails the create deeply emotive behaviour. In short... music can become an artist's tool... as effective or affective as any subject... brush or painting surface. Music creates mood... and out of mood comes emotion... and through emotion comes connection... artist to subject... and subject and artist's thought... to viewer!

I am offering two "Oldies"... "Classics" I believe from my own archives... along with something "New"... but not entirely... because it has its roots in my distant past. The original "Idea" for this painting was created one languid and beastly hot summer day in July... while painting en plein air on Wolfe Island opposite Kingston on Lake Ontario. Plein air adventures can create the very same memory magic as music as well... for "out there"... can be heard the sweet soft woodwind sounds of sighing pines... water music... and the choruses of sweet birdsong that rivals any instrument or human voice !

So for all of you "jammed up" souls... get "out there" and "crank up the tunes! You'll be surprised how quickly depression and blockage disappears... when the dam bursts and your creative spirit is free... once again to adventure!

Happy Summer!... Happy Listening... and Painting to ALL!

PS Jpeg #1 is Summer Zephyr on Wolfe Island oil on canvas- 12x16 inches

Jpeg#2 is Morning Has Broken, South Stonehurst, Nova Scotia - SOLD

Jpeg#3 is Heard it Thru the Grapevine oil on canvas (Triptych) 18x36 inches - SOLD


  1. I heard each of those songs roll their way through my memories as I read your post. Funny, I can't remember my list from this morning but I can remember the lyrics of a song from 30 years ago! Your paintings certainly evoke a wonderful sense of nostalgia. Each is lovely in its own right.

  2. Hi there Sandy!.... Thanks for the visit and for sharing your own thoughts and memories!

    I guess we share a lot of things in common beyond an obvious interest in art and music! Those senior moments keep pilin' up so much fir me... that I simply have to "list" my way through life these days!... An old... cluttered and weathered hard drive! HAHA!!

    Thanks for your encouraging comments about the paintings! Glad that they pleased you!

    Good Painting!... and Happy Summer!
    Warmest regards,

  3. I'm a huge oldies fan myself, Bruce. Always have been, but the magic of the 60's and 70's (early to mid) are what have really stayed with me. Of course, there are songs from earlier times and later times, but the z's under the bell curve fall in with the mid to late 60s through the early to mid 70's. And that take up a lot of space just to say nothing.

    Love each of these pieces and just love your style of painting. Oh to pick up a spark or three.

  4. Hi there Sherry!.... "My" music comes from everywhere.It arrives mysteriously out of the landscape... from the classical genre... thru the 40s'... 50s'... to the 80's... a "remix"... an eclectic mix!

    There was always music in our home when I was growing up from both of my parents and my grandparents. It is a blessing that I have enjoyed over my life time and have shared with my own children... and it has been passed on to them.

    Music is a wonderful gift... and it is even more wonderful these days with the advent of iPods and the like.

    Perhaps looking to your own music might be "the spark"... even the "Muse" that "You" search for Sherry! Listen to your heart! That's where great painting masterpieces have always come from... no matter the artist or the times! Music can be integrated easily with the creation of Art!

    Music is timeless and knows no barriers... it simply flows across borders and time itself!Why not add it to your... "palette?"

    Good Painting!... Happy Summer... and good listening!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Hi Bruce, I was driving over the moors yesterday for miles without seeing any traffic the sun was shining and I was playing Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good' which is a song about summertime. Music is very important and to paint and listen to music that makes you feel something too helps the work to flow along. I was thinking that the landscape I was driving through hadn't changed much at all since our grandparents lived there even well before that. It has a timeless quality about it which I love so much and like the music we loved in our childhood and as adults too. Lovely paintings Bruce full of summer time melody.

  6. Thank "You" Caroline... for checking in... for your kind comments about the summer works. As well, thank you for adding your own highland feelings and memories about the timeless nature of the wild landscapes... where they still exist... and also the timeless quality of music which often aids and abets the creative spirit and its compulsive need to be expressed!

    Good luck with your upcoming exhibition!

    Good Painting... and Happy Summer to "You"!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for this bit of sunshine.

    The paintings, in different ways, all evoke a feeling of lazy summer days.

    I also now have an image in my mind of you boogieing your way around your studio! :D

    Enjoy the 'Easy Living',

  8. Thanks Keith...Summer does give the feeling of being... very lazy... despite all of the energy and growth of the Natural World surrounding one!

    Every day brings change... everywhere one looks! All of the natural energy does in fact... make "Me" wanna boogie... and I do... unabashedly and joyfully!!

    "Summertime... and the livin' is easy,
    Birds are singin'... and the cotton grows high..."

    Here in these parts ... it's corn!
    Another anthem!!!

    Hope the same is true for "You"... and yours Keith!

    Good Painting!... and Happy Summer!
    Warmest regards,