STUDIO: The Soundtrack of Our Art


Essential Art Supplies

Painting is my passion. But music is my hobby.

My music collection has been decades in the making. It’s mostly CDs, which I regard as an endangered species these days.

I was sad when CDs overtook vinyl back in the 1980s as the dominant form for music releases, but I adapted. I’m glad vinyl still exists as a popular format, however I haven’t kept up purchasing records. Going digital  is unappealing to me. Part of the fun of collecting is having an actual object.

A big driver of the music collection is inspirational painting music.

My wife Michele and I always have music playing while we paint in the studio we share. We turn it up loud enough to make an impression but no so loud we can’t talk to each other.

Michele and I have very similar tastes in music, though I go to more weird extremes than she does.  She has been enjoying movie soundtracks lately, and they really set a great epic tone to work to.

When Michele takes a nap I put on headphones and listen to obnoxious punk rock and abstract hip hop.

This is the stack of CDs that have accumulated in our home studio recently. These could be seen as the soundtrack for our recent work:

Black Keys – El Camino (2011)

Last Wave – Last Wave (2014) Amazing local music

The Damned -The Black Album (1980)

Devotchka – How It Ends (2004)

Film Soundtrack -Only God Forgives (2013)

The Monks – Black Monk Time (1966)

Mark Lanegan – Field Songs (2001)

Blind Willie Johnson – Dark was the Night (1998)

Love – Forever Changes (1967)

Film Soundtrack – Trance (2013)

Pink Floyd – Obscured by Clouds (1972)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey (1988)

Pearl Jam – Vs (1993)

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (2013)

Forest Swords – Engravings (2013)

The Police – Synchronicity (1983)

Tom Waits – Bad As Me (2011)


9 thoughts on “STUDIO: The Soundtrack of Our Art

  1. Like Michele, I love movie and television soundtracks (a few game soundtracks thrown in there too for good measure). Sometimes music without voices can really help. Good selection! This is a post I would like to respond too, it’s interesting to see what people listen to creating work.

  2. Thanks for the interesting post. I would like to know if music has directly inspired a piece of artwork from you – rather than simply being “generally” inspiring?

  3. Good question. I can’t remember making a piece about a specific song, for example. But the archetype of The Musician, usually represented as a blues man with a guitar, has been a repeated motif for me,

  4. That’s a difference between writing and painting for me. For writing I need quiet, no distractions. Painting I can blast the most deranged music and it only fuels the intensity. Painting is much more fun than writing, even though I enjoy them both, Writing feels more like work.

  5. That’s something I always like to ask people: what music do they listen to while creating?
    I’m very into film soundtracks too, especially horror movies (Dead Silence is one of my fav), but also western movies – I’m not a big fan of this kind of films but their music is epic!
    Horror punk and metal works too – just depends on the piece and my mood 🙂 but music certainly does play a huge part in my creative process!

  6. The western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” soundtrack is a favorite of mine, makes me feel like I’m painting while about to take part in a gunfight, very inspirational.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s