Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Watercolor to Music

On Saturday, March 17, I had the pleasure of attending a class called Realms of Expression, taught by the dynamic duo of Cheryl Kaldahl and Rena Brouwer at the Brown County Art Guild in Nashville, Indiana.

The topic was fascinating - What is the brain connection between art, color and music and how can our creation of art be enhanced by music?  Cheryl has been studying the science behind color and music and spent some time explaining the connections between the two.  Rena is a renowned watercolorist who led us through activities in color and design to help us see new ways of organizing our paintings. 

We spent time painting to different types of music; we talked a lot about how different types of music sparked different reactions in us.

One of the most interesting parts of the day for me was listening to a piece of music and just letting my hand guide the brush to a color then the paper and then just letting it dance.   No plan, no mistakes, just let the brush dance across the paper to the music.  It was bliss.   

The gallery's spring show is up and it is spectacular!   Every few months, every artist brings in new work for the walls and they rearrange the entire space.   It keeps things very fresh and allows for a new way of looking at each artist and each piece.   Visitors are allowed to come and sketch or paint as they are inspired by the works displayed. 

In addition, this month there is a special exhibit of watercolor works in the upstairs galleries.  So much to enjoy and learn from.


  1. This is such an interesting topic. I always turn on music when I paint. I love painting to Lisa Lynne:
    I would love to know more about this topic. Did you paint differently with different genres of music? What is your favorite genre to paint to!

    1. Cheryl's premise is that you can actually influence the colors used by the notes in the music you're listening to. Yes, I do paint differently to different music and have a difficult time listening to music when I need to concentrate. As a warm up, or for fun, I noticed that music affected my brushwork, not my colors. That was really interesting.

      When I need to focus, I listen only to birdsong. In the winter, I have a long playlist of birdsong on Spotify that works nicely to keep me grounded.


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