Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seeing Music~ Rhythms and Glass

“Those that danced were thought crazy by those who didn’t hear the music.” ~Gypsy Proverb

It is said that the world we see mirrors who we are, and perhaps who we are is influenced by how we are named. I have always perceived the music of things, how they connect and move in harmony or counter melody; how light and shadow punctuates and binds objects in musical cadence. One of my favorite composers is Gustav Mahler because his music evokes such clear pictures in my mind. That Mahler in German translates to painter convicts me in my belief.

As a child I taught myself to draw by sound. I would look at something and compose a melodic line to record the boundaries of objects; higher or lower notes would mean taller or shorter, and the time that the music took would mark the relative space between things. There were many variations, which grew more elaborate as I attempted to record the visual world. This was the way I could recall the complexity as I turned my focus to draw on the paper.

Eventually, the two became one. It is impossible to discern where sight stops and sound begins. It is a wonderful benefit in matters related to art but there are nuisances. Visual clutter evokes the same agitation, as static between radio stations at too high a decibel level.

Rhythms and Glass, all static is forsaken. A lyrical quality dominates in the painting, through the rhyme of ribbon and scrollwork of the shelf. Choice of curvilinear over straight encourages cyclical movement, soft, sibilant sounds, and prolongs the sense of time. The cool, analogous palette and smooth, polished surfaces are supportive of the fluid movement in the painting. I hear the rhythmic swoosh and crackle of waves breaking on a distant shore, don’t you?


Melody Phaneuf is a Boston Artist, painting and listening to visions at Fenway Studios. Phaneuf is well known for her evocative still life and landscape paintings and has achieved significant acclaim for portraiture. She has exhibited at Galerie Herouet in Paris, The National Arts Club in New York City, and with Art du Monde, a traveling exposition in Japan. Phaneuf’s paintings are regularly displayed at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.

Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo

showcases the artist’s original paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and coasters, fine art prints, and handmade note cards. Online ordering atRhythms and Glass, 25 x 17 oil painting by Melody Phaneuf, is in private collection, but is available as giclée on canvas or archival paper, and handmade note cards.

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Sharon (thesunlitdesk) said...

Thank you. I enjoyed this post a great deal and can identify with your experiences with sound and vision.I too have synesthesia.

MelodyTheArtist said...


You are most welcome. I also have a connection between taste and color but it is not as strong. I'm happy to meet another synesthete~ Thanks for your message.

thesunlitdesk said...

I can identify with the taste/colour connection, but for me the smell/colour connection is stronger.Rainbows smell like burning sugar. I'm absolutely desperate to hear/smell/taste an aurora.