Miles Davis… “I Thought About You”… A cool song to paint by

The Blue Note, color sketch for new painting, Jan 2012

Painting and music go hand in hand. I like so many genres of music, but jazz has a special place in my heart. I was trained by the best, my musician brother, Bob Gillis and my husband Rob, to name only two, and special at that. Bob went to college and roomed with renowned jazz performer Bill Frisell and other wonderful musical friends. Bob introduced me to Miles Davis’ music. He and our dear friend Jeff Colella, another great player, performed at our daughter Annie’s wedding this summer, and she walked out with her dad Rob to a Miles tune they played so heartfully. Jeff made his bread touring with Lou Rawls, yet he’s a composer and artist in his own right, an amazing talent in L.A. right now.

Painting is not always an easy thing. There are moments when something’s not quite working as you go along. Even when I feel I can work through a challenge, knowing it might take a couple of hours, I get, well, disturbed. That is where music comes in. Somehow, if there is music in the room with you, or in your earbuds, you can ease the cranky feelings and soften into the flow of working it all out with the brush or knife.

I also love classical guitar and piano, and enjoy spanish and latin sounds. Bossa nova, American folk songs, Sinatra era, country- as in Emmy Lou Harris, gospel, Mozart, and a lot of rock from days gone by. And there’s always a Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin to get that brush movin’! (‘Course, I have to dance first, get that one out of my system before going back to the easel! Dancing will be another blog, right?)

But something about jazz… the Miles kind.. you can just lose yourself and alternate focus between the paint flowing and the sounds glowing beyond…

Share with me some of your favorite tunes or genres, won’t you?


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