Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stories Behind The Art

Harmony, installed in a collectors' home

Elaine came to me with a request and an idea for a custom collage painting made in her late husband’s memory. In her lovely home, I sat with Elaine, and over a cup of tea, as she shared charming details about Roy’s life as a musician, entertainer, teacher, and world traveler. Multi-talented, he mastered the piano, balalaika, guitar, and accordion, all of which are depicted in the collage painting. I learned that one of his favorite instruments was the balalaika, a beautiful traditional Russian stringed instrument which I had never even of heard of before. He was an artist himself, and I was a privileged viewer of his home hallway art gallery. Roy even had a special saying for which he was known in his circle of friends…a saying that just MUST be incorporated into the collage.

Inspired by a life well lived, I returned to my studio to create sketches and to begin developing the piece. As I often do, I hid words of special meaning, including Roy’s special saying, in the artwork to encourage a deeper observation by the viewer.

The piece was made specially to hang on the brick wall over the fireplace mantle. The colors were chosen to harmonize with the room. Roy’s collection of instruments are displayed on the wall and on the hearth near the artwork.

It is my hope that you enjoy learning the “Stories Behind the Art” – a new column appearing each month in my art newsletter. Collectors’ photos and stories are shared only with their permission.

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