Monday, August 9, 2010

Episode 9: Natural Talents (Works)

*Click on boombox to play*
Artist/Composer: Josh Newton
Twitter: Marquis66
"This week, I had a lot of ideas on what to do. I wanted to do something more chaotic and free-form, to internalize a natural flow to the piece. As far as source material, I thought both about incorporating actual nature elements (bird songs, rivers flowing, wind, crickets, earthquakes, sunspots, etc). In the end, I decided to use music that was representative of natural elements, a technique which has been used in music for centuries.
"Fantasia on an operatic theme" is a piece for solo flute, based on some of the music from an opera that I am writing. Here, the flute represents an ethereal bird that visits the main character in a dream, and eventually leads him both to the woman he will fall in love with, and sings outside his window when he committs suicide at the end of the opera (shh, that part is a secret)."

Artist: Becky Cochrane
Twitter: BeckyCochrane
"Unleaving (Acrylic, metallic, and ink on two 9x12-inch panel canvases):
I found these fallen leaves in the Ozark mountains and picked them up to bring home with me. Knowing they'd fade, I photographed them so I could remember their vivid colors later. Here, I want it to appear that they fell from my paintings.
Autumn, bittersweet but beautiful, is my favorite season. I took my title from a word coined by Gerard Manley Hopkins in one of my favorite poems, "Spring and Fall." I want this work to convey the beauty, humanity, and mortality found in his lyrical language."

Artist: Rhonda Rubin
Twitter: The_Rhonda
"Miasma (Graphite, pencil, ink, garden dirt): This week, we were challenged to get inspiration from our surroundings and use materials from those surroundings to create a piece of art. The last few days, I've played in dirt a lot. Also? I'm a dirty, dirty girl. Normally, I'd end that statement with "and I should be punished," but I think my mom reads this blog, so I'm keeping my dirt clean. So anyway, I started thinking about how life sometimes becomes a whirlwind of crap that just doesn't care what it picks up and spits out. Then I realized that stick figures, being relatively lightweight, would be ripe for the pluckin' for a small dust devil. Rather than call this "In a Vacuum, No One Can Hear You Scream," I went with "Miasma," because that word totally kicks ass."

Artist: Lindsey Smolensky
Twitter: smoness
"Stronger (charcoal, paint, and rocks on art board): By posing an outline sketch of a body form to shoulder a pile of rocks, I want to convey that even a shell of a person is capable of withstanding great burden. That oftentimes the seemingly weakest of human beings endure worse than those more physically able. And that if you can just hold on, keep from letting go, relief will always be there not far from reach."

Artist: Brad Dumm
Twitter: N/A
"While in Lake Arrowhead, CA this past weekend, I struggled to come up with a worthy submittal for our final challenge in "Work of Art Follow." I thought nothing would be more appropriate than to dedicate a piece to our moderator, Lindsey, who has worked hard for all of us during this journey. Thanks, Lindsey - it was great fun!"


  1. Josh--Your piece is definitely evocative of the pastoral. I was picturing all kinds of woodland creatures (of the mythic type, not chipmunks) moving around. Would NEVER have connected it to something with an ultimately tragic ending. Such is opera, right?

  2. It's been such a pleasure doing this with everyone who participated. Are we finished?

    I enjoyed the final show of the season more than most of the others. It was gratifying to see the artists' work when they weren't restricted by time or challenge guidelines.