Before I was a musician, I was an artist.
For many of my growing-up years, I wanted to be an author and illustrator of children's books. (Perhaps I still will be!)
I love illustration, curves, layers, blending, and anything I can finish in a few sittings. It's become a bit of a joke (and a challenge!) for me to create the occasional piece with more hard edges and straight lines.
These days, I often make art with my friend Michelle Boerio. She loves to paint, sketch, and collage. Recently, she's painted many whales, diatoms, and surreal landscapes. I also enjoy finding an occasional animal skull among her flowers.
Michelle and her mother Carrie are both wonderful artists and often paint and exhibit together.
Visual art has a strong connection to my adventures in music too.
Some of my musical works have a prominent visual aesthetic in their performance or musical scores, like Balloon Interludes and Black Box 2.0.
Sometimes I write music in collaboration with other visual artists. One of my favorite projects was writing my orchestral work Kéyah to accompany Frank Lee Ruggles' incredible photography of our national parks.
And sometimes I capture moments from my musical adventures to enjoy for myself or offer as gifts.
This mixed media shadowbox is from my time in Spoleto, Italy where we first premiered Baby Book. The plaster cast is a small gift from Casa Menotti. (I loved composing at Menotti's piano!)
The street painting is a main avenue in Sant'Angelo in Vado. I gave it to soprano Robin Fisher after singing in her Lingua e canto program. (Several of the singers slept in an upstairs room near the church bell. It woke us up. Every. single. morning.) 😆 We had a marvelous month performing together.
I even accepted my diploma for my Masters in Music Composition proudly wearing a mortarboard collage of my own doodles—mostly drawn while I was learning in class! My professors loved it and asked to have a better look.
I drew the slightly insane bird my first day on campus while sitting through a long orientation for the graduate teaching assistants. I liked that he was with me on my last day too.
Even the music itself can become a canvas.
I love these score art pieces! I had a shabby copy of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and recycled it into this project. It's neat to illustrate the work directly on top of the sheet music.
I want to create more score art with classical music and music that friends & colleagues have written.
You can see more of my paintings & doodles, as well as snapshots from my musical adventures, on Instagram (@laviemusicale).
Keep scrolling here to see a few more pieces!