My Painted Violin story: it’s finished for the DYAO fundraiser 2013

Painted Violin, Karen Gillis Taylor, 2013 DYAO fundraiser, front detail

Painted Violin, Karen Gillis Taylor, 2013 DYAO fundraiser, front detail, click to enlarge view

I received a call in 2012 from someone who had seen my art work at Osmosis Gallery in Niwot, CO. Would I like to contribute a painting for the Denver Young Artists Orchestra? This event highlights and supports Colorado’s premier youth orchestra. (The violins will be auctioned for sale with all proceeds going to the DYAO.)

“Yes! Sign me up!” (My brother, Bob Gillis, is a life-long dedicated musician, and musicians need our support. They are dear to our hearts in their love of music.)

“Great. You will be painting on a violin, and we will ship it to you soon.”

The gently used violin arrived, complete with case.

The gently used violin arrived, complete with case.

When I opened the case, I was struck by the beauty of this instrument. An Italian, Andrea Amati is credited with inventing the violin in the 1560s, and you can actually see one of his at  the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. When I see talented young people playing this instrument I am so appreciative, even amazed.

Priming the violin surface to accept paint

Priming the violin surface to accept paint

Getting back to practical matters, I primed the instrument with gesso in the same way I prime wood panels to paint.

"Moonlit Garden", detail, will be my inspiration

“Moonlit Garden”, detail, will be my inspiration

I chose to paint a cityscape, my current favored theme. A recent painting of mine called “Moonlit Garden” inspired the color palette I thought would retain the look of the original violin in a way. The soft gradations of rich brown stains of the real violin might be retained in spirit for this violin’s “new look.”

Painted Violin body, front view finished

Painted Violin body, front view finished, click to enlarge view

Once I began to paint, the shape of the violin became both limiting and inspiring. I found a place for a little garden structure in the lower right area of the violin that reminds me of a place in the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Painted Violin back side, KGT

Painted Violin back side, KGT

The back side of the violin is just as important as the front, a new painting hidden away to be discovered. Cities and gardens are full of secret places, which is why I enjoy painting and creating them.

Painted violin side view

Painted violin side view

The side of the violin became a bridge of color to connect the two paintings. It is the most abstract, but essential element of the piece.

Painted violin detail front left, KGT

Painted violin detail front left, KGT

Time to finish the piece with a coat of varnish and a signature. I did not invent this wonderful curvy instrument’s shape, but I found a way to add my own appreciation of its beautiful form. The next step will be to hear the young musicians play at what I’m sure will be an amazing concert of dedicated youth.

Members of the DYAO in concert

Members of the DYAO in concert

DYAO in concert

DYAO in concert

Here is the information for the opening season event and reception to follow, which will display all of the many artists’ Painted Violin creations:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The 10th Annual

Painted Violin Fundraiser

5:00 p.m.
Rialto Cafe
934 16th St., Denver
DYAO musicians
LIVE and IN CONCERT

The Concert

DYAO presents: Thinking of Italy

2:30 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall,
Denver Performing Arts Complex

After Oct. 13, the violins will be on display at the following locations: Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, from Oct. 14 to Nov. 17; Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, 2349 E. Orchard Road in Greenwood Village, Nov. 16; Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St. in Denver, Nov. 18 to Jan. 5; Madden Museum of Art, 6363 S. Fiddler’s Green Circle in Greenwood Village, Jan. 6, 2014 to Feb. 7, 2014; and Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House, 1000 14th St. in Denver, Feb. 9, 2014.

http://paintedviolin.com/

Here is my bio page for the Painted Violin website:

http://paintedviolin.com/meet-the-artists/karen-gillis-taylor/

Main website for the Denver Young Artists Organization:

http://www.dyao.org/

DYAO musician Emily Switzer video, an amazing young violinist to inspire young people:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H12RVoTIQzk

When I watched Emily Switzer’s video, I was reminded of my brother Bob’s challenges as he moved on to college as a music major. One of his professors told him he would not do well in the difficult Performance Degree Program at UNC. So Bob just went for it, as a personal challenge, and accomplished his goal, after many more months, even years of work. Later, his professor told him that he did him a favor with that remark. He said, “Bob, I knew you would go on to succeed if you had the drive in you. I just set the challenge in front of you to see what you did with it.”

Our work in the arts is always a personal challenge, but it’s also a gift that brings us joy and fulfillment. I make art because I was made to make art. I’m thankful each day for that.

Here is my painting website if you’d like to see more paintings:

http://www.karengillistaylor.net/

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14 Responses to “My Painted Violin story: it’s finished for the DYAO fundraiser 2013”

  1. Kelly Springer Says:

    Easily by far one of the best things you have sent out on your blog, thank you – it is lovely!

    On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM, Hue Bliss: Color & Art notes by Karen

    Like

  2. Caroline Jobe Says:

    the violin is so gorgeous! love your sense of colour.

    Like

  3. Sherry Galey Says:

    Stunningly beautiful work!

    Like

  4. Marla Stefanelli Says:

    Your violin is beautiful! What fun for the kids to be able to play it. I love your work.

    Like

    • karen Says:

      Thanks Marla!
      They auction off these painted violins, however, to raise money for the DYAO. I should have explained more, sorry! There are at least 10 or 12 artists contributing.
      I will see them all next week at the event at the Rialto!

      Like

  5. Pat Ahrens Says:

    Takes my breath away Karen! Wish I could spend every Thursday with you and your sistas like the old days! Maybe some talent would rub off.

    Like

  6. Liz Cozza Says:

    Your work is amazing! The violin is beautiful. A great contribution to the DYAO.

    Like

  7. Sound Art Creator Says:

    Reblogged this on Sound Art Creator and commented:
    Very, very nice. Great composition and colors! Thanks fro the uplift.

    Like

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