When I was 5 my parents bought the real thing. An upright with warm toffee colored wood. I don't remember the piano being delivered to our house at all. It just seemed like it was always there. The next thing I knew I was being driven to piano lessons to this place with red chairs and a gumball machine in the lobby. If the piano lessons went well my teacher would give me 2 coins (probably 2 nickels) and I would pop them in the machine on the way out. Strangely enough I think the dentist was in the building next door.
There was always a debate between my parents over who the piano was for. Was it for me, so they could see if I would turn out to be one of those musical prodigies? Or for my mom, who played a little but mainly loved the look of having a piano in the living room.
Over the next 13 years I took piano lessons nearly every week of my life. There were teachers I adored, ones that made me cry, recitals, little dresses with big bows in the back, temper tantrums and out and out rebellion when I hit my teenage years. By the time I was 14 I decided I hated the piano and refused to go to my lessons. But my parents wouldn't let me quit so I protested, then I had to go anyway.
Today I am grateful for all those lessons and for the gift of knowing how to read and play music (I also learned to play the flute later). I never mastered the piano as well as I should have. Although I eventually learned to love it again, I don't think I had a real passion for it in my soul. I loved to play and I practiced but I had a hard time playing without looking at my hands. If I looked at the sheet music I would start missing notes. I have the same problem with typing. I have to look at my hands or I will hit the key next to the one I meant to strike. Later I finally found out why I do this (along with other odd things like picking up the wrong toothbrush) but that's for another time.
What I did gain from all those years is a love for classical music. Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart and Debussy would have been on my ipod in high school if they had them back then. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is forever my favorite. Haunting and sublime. Romantic but also sad. I also love Debussy's Claire de Lune and Reverie. I love to listen to these songs when I create, along with a hodgepodge of other tunes like songs in a different language. I love the way the words sound even if I can't understand them and I find that they're less distracting that way too. The little mini player on my sidebar is what I actually listen to when I'm painting and collaging away.
Maybe it was those songs that inspired me to work on this piece yesterday. Another of my girls with a little napkin dress. I love to paint moons, you might have noticed, and I did a bigger one to hang against a dark blue sky. Then I remembered this spray of Prima paper flowers (love love their stuff) and thought they would be perfect with her dress. And I debated between calling this Claire de Lune or Reverie, but this morning while I was finishing her up the song came up on my playlist and I thought it had to be.
This one is Moonlight Sonata.
It is mixed media collage on 10x10 inch canvas made with paper, acrylic paint, pencils, embellishments and glitter. The border is a deep aquamarine. I'm eventually putting it in my Etsy shop in a few days but for now I'm just enjoying having her in my studio while I listen to a little night music.
I hope you had a lovely week. It's hard to believe it's almost the weekend again. Do you like to listen to music when you're creating or do you prefer absolute quiet? Or maybe you like to have the TV on. Whatever it is you listen or don't listen to when you work, I hope you're inspired to create something beautiful from your heart today.
Have a lovely weekend.