Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PArtyhauser Custom Poetry Paintings

The painting in progress.

I love getting lost in the words of lyrics & poems. As I read them, I let the words linger on my tongue. As I listen to them, I close my eyes & absorb every word the author has written - in the same way that I take in every brush stroke an artist makes on a painting. The words, just like the brush strokes, blend with special pieces of my heart & moments in my life. They spark memories, invoke creativity, give me hope for the future, cause reflection on the past, & enchant me with curiosity. I have always been amazed by the power of written art forms, by their power to transport you back in time to a special moment just by hearing or reading a few words. This is why so many years ago I began painting these words, transforming them into visual art forms. By painting them, I feel as if I can breath new life into the emotion of the original author. As if I can celebrate their work of art with a new medium, a visual medium. As if I can place on your wall that memory their words give you, so each time you look at it - you get lost in the words visually & go back to that special moment in your life. 

The finished work, painted in acrylic on a 12" x 48" canvas.

I was honored when Michelle Sommerhauser commissioned me to paint her original poem, "Forever Is Too Long". Michelle wrote the poem in 2009 for a creative writing assignment to embody timelessness. Says Michelle, "It was just an assignment at first until I embraced the idea of the topic & really started thinking of how I spend my time versus how I would really like to spend my time." 

Some of my favorite lines, "Time know no limits. So how am I so bound by time?"

Each of the poems written by the class were submitted into a poetry contest sponsored by the percussion ensemble - Temporal Mechanics Union & Michelle's entry won! She got to perform the poem live with the Mechanics!

Click here to watch the performance! 
From You Tube:
Michelle Sommerhauser recites "Forever is Too Long," her winning entry in poetry contest sponsored by TMU for this concert. The Mechanics collectively chose this work as an embodiment of timelessness, which was the theme of the competition. 
The poem is accompanied by a rhythmic piece entitled al-jabr, the Arabic term for restoration, or reunification of broken parts. This is also the source of "algebra" in English. In keeping with the motifs of timelessness and reunification, this is an additive piece, meaning each measure adds beats & measures to the one before it. The cycle runs from two measure of 2/4 followed by three of 3/4 until nine measures of 9/4 is played, at which point the cycle repeats. An improvised melody is played over this on the Turtle Pan, built by Dave Lowery of Ontario, Canada.

Painting the title & first words of the poem.

I delivered the painting to Michelle earlier this month. A few days later, I asked her what the painting means to her now -- she said, "When I read it now, I think of time as precious; everything in life is temporary except the things that I want to be permanent... and that is where I want to spend my time while I still have it."

Painting in progress.

Detailed progress shot. 



This poem began as an assignment, was turned into a written art form by Michelle, a musical art form in collaboration with the Mechanics, & now a visual art form in collaboration with me... awesome! 

If you are interested in having your favorite poem or song painted, contact me

To see more PArtyhauser lyric & poetry paintings, check out my shop.

And now, back to painting I go!

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