I’m sure that for some people, sitting through art history courses is like going to the dentist, complete with sedatives. I, on the other hand, loved it. I felt as if I could never get enough of it. It was like I was in the desert, and art history was water. A bit dramatic, yes, but not an understatement. If you have a really hard time wrapping your head around that, imagine one of your favorite things- a particular Ben & Jerry’s flavor, perhaps, the perfect Billie Holiday song maybe, a cup of Gramma’s hot cocoa on a chilly day.. your mind kind of reels at how amazing it is, and then it’s finished, and you pout a little because you want it to keep going.
That’s what art history class was like for me. One thing in particular I have always loved is the history of Kandinsky, a painter from the early 1900’s. Besides being credited as the first abstract artist, Kandinsky constantly referenced and was very inspired by music. Some people believe he had Synethesia, a condition in which parts of the brain cross over and senses reference each other, resulting in a sound having a distinct flavor, color or smell, for example. His paintings were very colorful. I play music almost every single time I paint. Whenever I’m working on a painting and I run out of steam, it’s as if the music senses it and picks a track that reinvigorates me and gets me going again.
I always listen to music when I paint and my paintings are almost always pretty colorful. Coincidence? Or could there be a tiny synesthetic muse living in my head?
You decide. 😉