~ Experiences, Projects & Jottings of Painter Jan Clizer, Specialist Painter of Scottish & Celtic Music Subject Matter ~

Friday, July 4, 2008

Celtic Music Festival Blues

It’s Folk Festival time in Stonehaven next weekend – I imagine most of the usual charismatic suspects plus a whole lot of new faces will be attending, with wee sessions going on ‘roon’ the toon’ and harbourside…. the eyes water as I think of the fun I’ve had trying to keep up with hard-driving tunes and jam-packed time schedules, so as not to miss a performance or chance to sit in on a ‘crackin’ session!’ Am very thankful for help staying focused on the positive in a wee monthly gig downtown at Art Spirit entertaining Artwalk attendees – a brilliant opportunity for exposure for my work and to share some of my favourite tunes.

Music-oriented as I am, I’ve done a small series of paintings celebrating Celtic music, my long-suffering fiddle being the subject! It’s a Sanctus Serafini copy, ca. 1823 (I know, by rights I should’ve painted a fiddle made by a Scots luthier, but had none handy here in Idaho!) By appearance it’s either been well-loved, or had rather a hard life depending on one’s viewpoint, having undergone some extensive reparations. Plays a fine tune, though, depending on the player(!), & is a treasured companion.

The images are meant to go beyond the music, to invite the viewer into a more intimate aspect of a musician’s experience, the sheer pleasure of the beauty and form of our instruments. Thus, you see the fiddle depicted in multiple perspectives and angles one wouldn’t normally see unless working with the instrument personally. I created the series in a more anal phase of my painting career, trying to get every dot of paint just in the right spot. The dark backgrounds suggest our murky past – for the most part undefined and undiscernable, yet full of everything (all colours combined makes murk!) that makes Celtic culture what it is today. Celtic knotwork, composed of several colours (cultures) and populated with many, many ‘wee blobs’ (people) is placed behind each fiddle image to represent a flexible, yet extremely strong grounding in the music and heritage of the Celtic countries.

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