Art Inspired by Music: Green Day, Springsteen, Cranberries & Etc.

I've been working on art inspired by rock music and discovered [again] that creating to a song can be a deep and intuitive experience, even more than working from a prompt or quotation. 🛵 Music has been integral to my life, very much part of me since my high school years. I feel like with a song, there’s more data + sensory input. I can use the entire span of the song as the prompt, the mood, the lyrics, plus my experience and interaction with it over the years. 

3x5" index card, mixed media collage, tribute to 21 Guns by Green Day.

3x5" index card, mixed media collage, tribute to 21 Guns by Green Day.

When my daughters were younger, their class performed 21 Guns in an annual concert and they practiced it quite a bit ~ and I find it quietly beautiful. I could listen to it over and over again. My goal here was to create a collage inspired by the song, but not be too literal. Although... the stamp w/the weightlifter goes directly to "Throw up your arms into the sky." My favorite fragment from this song? "When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul." Our minds can drive us so far in the wrong direction, tricking us. 

21 Guns is song #961 in the countdown. 

 

Each year, Marit challenges the entire world to create art inspired by the music on Dutch radio's Top 2000 playlist. It's a fun way to wrap-up the last week of the year. My process is to download the list to Excel and scan thru the long list for songs that resonate with me, for favorites that spark a mood.

In December I created 4 works for the challenge, and I had created several earlier in the year which coincidentally matched some of the songs, so I'm sharing those here too for reference. Next year, I would like to do Procol Harem's Lighter Shade of Pale... and to me that song is purple. Definitely purple. 

5x8" ink on watercolor paper, tribute to Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

5x8" ink on watercolor paper, tribute to Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

As soon as I saw Springsteen on the list, I knew I wanted to explore one of them -- just had to pick a song. I've done Thunder Road in past years so picked Born to Run for the reference to the jersey shore. It was the closest beach to us, but quite a long, long drive from my home in Pittsburgh. "The amusement park rises cold and stark..." but I wonder if you can see it?

5x8" ink on watercolor paper, tribute to Linger by The Cranberries.

5x8" ink on watercolor paper, tribute to Linger by The Cranberries.

My kids and I are always theorizing whether a particular song would be on our personal Top 20/100 list [because 10 is impossible, right?] and this is definitely in my top 20. My feel for this page was floaty, happy memories intersecting with the confusion of hindsight. "Was it just a game to you?"

5x8" ink on watercolor paper, tribute to Counting Stars by One Republic.

5x8" ink on watercolor paper, tribute to Counting Stars by One Republic.

It's not <that> often that a song enters my Top 100 of all time, but Counting Stars was an instant 🧡 fav. I love the way the song builds in intensity and wow, I cannot resist these words... "Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly."

Mixed media art journal collage in an altered book, inspired by Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. 

Mixed media art journal collage in an altered book, inspired by Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. 

Mixed media art journal collage in an altered book, inspired by Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. This spread was created with techniques from my Groovy Grunge workshop. 

This was inspired by a negative interaction with some other women. It took me some time to process what happened and understand that people who seem to be nice on the surface are not necessarily nice people. I guess we all learn that lesson many times in life? That's been one of the most difficult lessons to learn, in moving from the north to the south. Anyhow, that's another story for another day. 

5x8" hand-lettered in Moleskine journal, lyrics from Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. 

5x8" hand-lettered in Moleskine journal, lyrics from Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. 

5x8" hand-lettered in Moleskine journal, lyrics from The Last Resort by The Eagles. 

5x8" hand-lettered in Moleskine journal, lyrics from The Last Resort by The Eagles. 

As you guys know, I've been working in a 5x8" gridded Moleskine for about two years, and the journal is limited to black/white/gray/silver drawing tools. This journal was a great investment - it seems like it has an infinite number of pages - still half of the journal to go! Created for the CatchPhrase Challenge.

3x5" index card, mixed media collage, tribute to Lucy in the Sky w/Diamonds. Created for the CatchPhrase Challenge.

3x5" index card, mixed media collage, tribute to Lucy in the Sky w/Diamonds. Created for the CatchPhrase Challenge.

3x5" index card, gouache/ink/stitched, tribute to Man on the Moon by REM. Created for the CatchPhrase Challenge.

3x5" index card, gouache/ink/stitched, tribute to Man on the Moon by REM. Created for the CatchPhrase Challenge.

Mixed media art journal collage in an altered book, inspired by Witch by the Bird & the Bee.

Mixed media art journal collage in an altered book, inspired by Witch by the Bird & the Bee.

Another mixed media art journal collage in an altered book! This is actually one of the pages that I filmed for my Groovy Grunge workshop, so you can see how I created this page if you join the workshop! 

More song-inspired art!

Pink Floyd: Comfortably Numb
The Eagles: The Last Resort
Springsteen: Thunder Road
Timberlake: Mirrors
Yes: Roundabout