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What I Listen To When I Paint

As we settle in with our first born, I’ve finally been able to get back into the studio and start on some new paintings. Right now I am completing work for an upcoming group show at Kai Lin Art entitled “Fresh II”. (Sign up for my newsletter to receive the official announcement and first preview of these pieces)

Music has been ingrained in my soul almost as long as the visual arts. Some of my earliest memories are listening to Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger” and Chuck Berry 45’s with my parents in the den. My musical tastes broaden over the years as I started playing drums, skateboarding and playing in the high school band (and early garage bands in my teenage years) but always held these early influences in my heart. A common question artists are asked is “What music do you listen to while in the studio painting?”

Many artists listen to classical music like Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, or the often shun, Mahler. I’m pretty much in the Tchaikovsky and Mozart corner when it comes to classical music. However, this is not my go-t0 while applying dimensions of colored pigment to canvas and wood substrates.

Lots of musical genres cross my palette when I am in the studio, but my all-time favorite is straight up 1970’s punk. The Ramones, The Runaways, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, and of course, the one the only, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers. Johnny Thunders being my absolute favorite. The raw guitars, primal drums, roaring vocals, and thundering bass are the greatest makings for motivation in the studio.

There is something that always spoke to me deep down with punk. Its roots in good old rock n’ roll unleashes my younger self, reminding me of slightly freer days. That freedom carries over into my painting. With every wide strum of that “in the red” guitar, a swipe of colors from the palette knife attacks the canvas. Every blast of the rapid-firing bass drum beats a thick, chunk of Prussion Blue deep in the shadows. Every high octave picked bass thumps a stroke of hot pink across the mid-tones. And every belted high pitched scream spits a pure titanium white smack to accentuate the highlights.

What do you listen to while you work? Do you have a preferred genre or musical group that helps you improve your work?

featured art:
Rock N Roll All Night
24×24 inches
oil and gold leaf on linen

Bring this piece home!

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