Posted on Leave a comment

Music in art creation – my process

Druid Tree Painting by Maura Satchell, ArtistAs you might know, I make visual art as well as write. Recently, I’ve noticed an interesting thing. I work by two different mental processes when creating, depending on whether it be by words or pictures. Here’s the scoop:

The other day I was asked about my process in writing my (insert shameless plug here) second novel The Gray Lady of Long Branch  (Four Pillars) and in explaining my strong dedication to the organic process, I also mentioned I work in silence. No music, no television, no people (if I can help it, but that depends on how close to deadline).  I do this because those external distractions would dim “the voices in my head.”

I know what you’re thinking: Get out the straightjacket. =)

In all seriousness, though, I can only describe it in this way:  Thankfully, I type blindingly fast, so, I process my thoughts in my brain and type to follow up. Usually it’s my own thoughts, but sometimes, I get the voice of the character, or a reminder voice of an old professor, or some other voice coming to me. It informs the process of what I’m doing or downright puts the dialogue right into my mind, accent at all.

When creating visual art, I find creating to music pleasant and sometimes very helpful. It seems to free up my work so my strokes are less controlled, more flowing and easy. The most striking marriage between my painting and music came several years ago when I was working on this Druid Tree painting for a solo show at a fabulous restaurant in Nashville years ago. I was painting to Dave Matthews Band and still remember the feeling of that union as I created that work.

How about you? Check in and tell me what type of art you work on and about your music or non-music preferences. OR, take this conversation to your favorite social media channel and carry on the discussion there!


Posted on Leave a comment

>End the madness… paint!

Today, I had a lovely conversation with Mary, my sister-in-law who is a skilled oil painter. I’m honestly shy talking about my painting endeavors with most people but she was so nice and inviting to chat with, and encouraging too.

And she put something I’ve been unable to express in words much better than I could: “I’m a much nicer person to be around when I paint,” she said.

My mom used to swim laps in a pool to “swim the meanness” out of herself, and some people work out, do yoga, or whatever. I know when I can take a “purposeful” walk, it is pleasurable and relaxing.

I find when I am able to go into my studio or to painting classes, I feel this sort of release, a physical sigh, and my whole body relaxes into the moment. I forget about worries that I can’t control, things that might or might not be coming down the pike, and just let go and create. There is something sensual and luxurious about controlling a paintbrush as it glides along the canvas or paper. As I mentioned, I write, and can get lost in typing onto a screen words that flow to the point I forget to eat. It is similar, but the dot dot dot of characters and words appearing on a computer screen do not compare to the pleasure of seeing a line of paint flow across paper or canvas support.

Today’s Lesson: Painting is good therapy.