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How music morphed into painting

Colin Williams Posted: september 26, 2021 / Modified: september 26, 2021
How music morphed into painting
For almost half a century I was a songwriter and musician, I was a bass player in countless bands in the uk and from the early 90's to around 2012 I produced other artists in my own recording studio in the Lake district. Music had been my passion since I was a young teenager at the beginning of the beat boom of the 60's. Then about 10 years ago I started to loose my hearing and today I can only function with hearing aids and music now is a foreign land, but my passion for creating is now painting, which began as watercolours about 20 years ago when my wife bought me a set of paints, brushes and an easel for my 50th birthday.
When I was a musician, and songwriter I loved spontaneity, the rush of the first take that captured the essence of the song, and I found that with a painting too. Often when I was recording artists they would always want to keep trying to make their song better by doing take after take. Sometimes they would do a better version but often we would go back to that first take and find that this was the best rendition, perhaps not quite polished but they had captured the song in that first take.
When I began painting in watercolours I would spend time getting it right, so to speak, often taking days to complete a painting, fiddling with it. Then one day on a holiday in the Dominican Republic we were on a daytrip and stopped at a spectacular beach, but we were only to have 15 minutes there. I took out my paints and paper and tried to make a quick painting of the scene. I finished just as our bus was about to leave and one of the other passengers, who had been taking photographs came to look at my painting and declared that I had managed to capture a much more of the essence of the scene than she had with her expensive cameras. That moment made me realise that painting can be just like that first take when recording a song. Just being in the moment and letting the spirit of the time and place flow into brush strokes and an intuitive use of colours, not thinking, going with the flow can I think produce the best art, well for me at least.
These days I have branched out and tried acrylics and oils and try to apply the same methods, to achieve a looseness that forget the tiny details to hopefully capture the spirit of the subject.
For me a passion for music has taught me to apply that first take mentality to painting. Often it fails maybe 9 out of 10 times but I still strive for that first take and when it works it's beautiful.

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