Harp Music

I have a lot of Celtic Harp music. I used to love playing Irish fiddle tunes with other musicians. When I listen to Irish music, I can barely keep my fingers still. I think I put them to good use as I listened to harp music the other day. With a dip pen in my hand, my pen followed […]

Before Going Away

I was very, very nervous the night before I was to go away to college for the first time. Even though this was more than 45 years ago, I still remember how agitated I was. I had a recording of some of Bach’s organ music. The pieces that helped me the most were Toccata And Fugue […]

Early Music Exposure

I’ve mentioned before that both my parents loved music. Dad let my older brother Mike* play on the piano and I’m sure they played classical music records all the time when he was around. For a time Mike responded. I’m told he could hum entire movements from symphonies. By the time I came on the scene, Mike […]

Yellow Teeth

Today’s watercolor experiment: Two factors influenced my artwork today. First, one of my favorite artists, Paul Klee, described a way to ‘make visible’ one’s inner state was to take a pencil point ‘for a walk’. Although I’m not clear about how to translate my inner state to the paper, I believe the practice of ‘taking a point for […]

Jazz Listener

Today’s watercolor experiment: I began today’s study simply: I applied several yellowish pigments to a completely wet watercolor paper. In Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, he equates forms with colors. Yellow, to use today’s example, is one of the ‘keen’ colors that is consonant with a sharp, or triangular shape.  I wanted to see what would happen […]

By the Waters of Babylon

My wife, Joy and I just started watching Mad Men. Frankly I was a little bit leery about rehashing the 1950s and its prevailing attitudes. Drinking, smoking, antisemitism, treating women badly was the norm back then. The protagonist, Don Draper, is a mysterious, emotionally empty Madison Avenue ad agency creative director. Little by little we […]

Remembering Dad

Dad died 7 years ago yesterday (November 30 by the lunar calendar).  Thoughts of him have been in the back of my mind all month. Although I wasn’t conscious of it, this may have prompted me to read A Mathematician’s Apology by G.H Hardy, a book that had been sitting on my shelf for quite […]

Emotion in Art

Emotional reception There are many works of art that evoke emotion in me. Oddly enough for me as a visual artist, the medium that tugs at my emotions the most is music. Of the factors responsible for this, the strongest seems to be memory. I cannot discount associations from my childhood, which was filled with music; the […]


Dad played the violin. Mom played the piano. They played duets before they had children. In my childhood memories, I only remember them playing together a couple of times. Music was a big part of my family life, growing up. Opera on Saturdays, my father reading along in the libretto sometimes; Mozart, Beethoven, Bach… you […]