moonlight sonata

I guess my parents always planned for me to play the piano. I remember pictures of myself at about one, banging away on a little toy pink piano (I wish I had that now, it would look so cute in my studio). At around 3 or 4 they bought a miniature toddler size baby grand. I vaguely remember playing it but there are lots of photos of me and my little brother pretending to play and sing along to a music book.

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.


Patti said...

This piece is lovely. The paper dress just makes the piece.
I love the colors too. This one would be hard to let go for me. Very very nice Anna.

Yes I have to have music on when I create. Usually music from the 40's

Linda said...

This is a wonderful story and oh, what a great memory.
You out did yourself on this painting Anna. I hope you will frame this one and put it in a special place in your home. The colors are so vibrant and a wonderful combination. I would have a hard time letting this go too.

Luthien said...

only the other day my hubby and i were discussing about having music during creating. he's a writer director and he says he actually prefers to have the music on when he's thinking up characters for his stories.

on the other hand, i prefer absolute quiet ... when i'm making my art ... but with the laptop on in front of me ;) the only time i have music on is when i'm creating a stage performance or thinking up a concept for a show ...

but if music can inspire you to make something as beautiful as that ... i say blast on my fren blast on :)

Laura said...

Hi Anna! I LOVE this piece! Spectacular work as always. I have similar memories and today I am the proud owner of my great-grandparents Wurlitzer upright from 1915. I too am thankful my parents made me stick with it. Little did we know, right?:)

Linda in New Mexico said...

As a youngster, I too was "given the opportunity" to learn to play the piano. My father played by ear and never read a note, my mother like yours loved the look of the piano in the living rooma and also the social aspect of having me "play for company". I am glad though that I learned to enjoy many different types of music. I don't think there is any genre that doesn't have something to contribute to life. Although some more than others.
I love to have music when I "dabble" otherwise I should think it would be quite boring in the studio for the grands and myself.
This lady is so very special...I cry shutter thinking of letting her go, we I you.
I have meant to mention the fact that Luna and my Sunny Bunny Boo Boo Head look so much alike. Marmalade wonders of feline perfection, yes?
Have a lovely weekend. The Olde Bagg, Linda

A Fairy Godmother said...

I love to create to classical music too - it seems a part of my soul. This is a beautiful piece - I can hear the music floating around me. A delight!

Incipient Wings said...

well you KNOW i've loved this from the start...she is stunning!!!!!

Mina said...

What a beautiful post so full of heartfelt reflections. Wherever your inspiration comes from, it is a very deep and soulful place.

Holly said...

Another stunningly beautiful piece, Anna! :)

Heathen said...

Oh my goodness, this is beautiful! The art and the post. Have a wonderful weekend!

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Anna, Moonlight Sonata is just gorgeous. You have found your muse! These pieces you're creating are so wonderful. Congrats! Hope you have a happy weekend! Theresa

Jem said...

Moonlight Sonata is so fitting for this piece. As a fellow pianist I sympathise at the music teachers who made you cry - in fact I didn't play for years until recently when I've begun to really appreciate losing myself in playing again :-) Music is such a gift!

Jem xXx

Kathy said...

Really pretty, Anna. Love the flowers that you added and all of the color. Very,very nice.

andrea said...

a great artist!! Yes I like to listen to music as I created and that will set the mood of art, sometimes some Etnya will make it different or sometimes just a romantic mood. Is just how I feel, beautiful painting Anna! very inspiring!

Tammie Lee said...

this is so beautiful, you have a wonderful whimsical style!

Asas à imaginação said...

Oh,Anna,how fantastics works you make!!!
I loved your "Moonlight Sonata"...Beethoven is almost the best,for me the first is Bach...but your pinctures are ever the best!!!
Hugs,my dear!

Dandelion Dreams said...

I always love reading the little tidbits of your life that you share with us. I often listen to similar pieces when creating. There's just something about certain pieces that cause the creativity to dance.

Speaking of dancing- your thoughts on ice skating made me smile. It seems like so many of my friends and close acquaintances have had a deep love of ice skating and the pair you speak of.

And now your piece... OOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOO OoOoOOoOOoOOooO!!!!!!! Do you feel my excitement? Do you?!?!?! I am just totally and completely enamored. The way you worked the tissue and the color choices in it really remind me of pressed flowers, then you've added those mulberry roses so flirtatiously too. Her wistful look, with long lockes flowing in one direction and the stars about her neck in the other, with the script behind her in that blue. Oh that blue. The glow of a halo you created about her flesh and on the paper. The fluff of the clouds. The sprig of flowers and the moon. Ahh the moon.....

You've outdid yourself this time. Even that strip of slightly darker, decorative paper with the scroll at the very top is just....

This is one of those times when I really wish we could reach out and touch what we see on the computer. These are some of my favorite color combos all done up together in one peice. It's one of, if not my favorite.. I'm thinking it might just be my favorite of ALL collage pieces from anyone that I've ever seen. Man those clouds....You really captured those clouds in the perfect play of shadow and light.

I'm entranced, Anna. I really am. Bravo!!!