Sheet Music Compositions
I search tirelessly for appropriate sheet music to serve as my canvas for these uniquely titled portrait-type drawings. As a classically-trained pianist and aficionado of the "Great American Songbook" genre, I have a vast collection of piano music. Nevertheless, I continue to comb yard sales, estate sales, music retail stores and internet sites seeking dated, often worn music manuscripts that meet my artistic needs. I pay strict attention to the music’s title as it will literally translate to the subject matter of my drawing: Sometimes this relationship is direct; often there is a looser connotation inviting the viewer’s own interpretation of the piece’s statement. Please be understanding of any tongue-in-cheek humor that sometimes creeps into these pieces...
Using pencil, charcoal or sepia ink, I draw directly onto the original sheet music. Inherent obstacles with this “canvas” can include distracting or schmaltzy lyrics that can negatively impact the intent of the composition. For this reason, I usually prefer classical works over popular songs whenever possible. Another challenge: Too many musical notes on a piece (avoid Rachmaninoff!) can obscure or overly clutter a drawing’s details. My compositions are purposely arranged so that critical facial features like eyes, mouth or hands are placed between musical staffs, i.e., “open spaces” to maximize the expressiveness of the rendering.
Each of these pieces is unique. Copies would obviously defeat the purpose of
working directly on an aged manuscript which parlays a distinct character in
and of itself. And in a whimsical sense, in addition to owning a truly original
work of art, collectors can now actually “perform” the piece; or if recordings
are readily available, listen to the artist’s inspiration!