With so many amazing female musicians it is hard to choose which talented lady to feature. Each artist has made a contribution to the music scene in Canada. This week, however, I chose to highlight Joni Mitchell (Roberta Joan Mitchell). There is no question that she has had successes as a singer and songwriter, it is, however, the poetic and musical intellect that I am fascinated by. Also intriguing is the evolution and progression of her musical styles that include folk, rock, jazz, and pop. Her willingness and ability to explore music through piano and open-tuned guitar show a great depth and understanding of complex harmonies and rhythms. Poetically developing her music from many genres, she has had a strong musical presence in North America. It is hard to sum up in a few words the influences that Joni Mitchell had during an exciting musical time in our country.
Check out the Joni Mitchell website for more information along with her collection of paintings.
Earlier this year I watched an interview with David Yaffe, author of the biography Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during his interviews with Ms. Mitchell. I guess the next best thing would be to read his book. I am excited and looking forward to reading it and learning more about the influences and factors that led to the growth of Joni Mitchell’s musical career.
Another reason I chose to highlight Joni Mitchell this week was the artwork. In comparing the four pieces seen here I decided to be less rigid and closed with the drawing I did of Joni Mitchell. I feel it gives a lighter and unbound feeling. Each style has a different type of beauty, but for me, there is something refreshing and freeing when I don’t get too detailed.
It comes down to knowing when to stop the piece. Is it finished, or should I add more detail? Do I want it to look like a photograph or artwork?
This type of self-reflection along with studying artwork that intrigues me is what helps me grow as an artist. I am hoping to develop a more open style as I continue to study art.
The list of Canadian female musicians is a long one. I am looking forward to exploring more great music as I spend time with my sketchbook.
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As I continue on my journey exploring Canada’s Music Greatness I am astonished as to how many amazing musicians have helped create the Canadian musical landscape. I know we have an abundance of great musicians in Canada but was not mindful of the vast numbers until I starting exploring the Canadian music world. Just when I thought I had compiled an extensive list, I would receive a message or email with a couple new names. That is amazing, and I love it!
At some point in an artist’s career, they are unknown. What is that pivotal moment when they move from just a singer to a household name? Singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer, Michael Bublé had such a moment.
Michael Bublé was born in Burnaby, British Columbia in 1975. As a child, he had a passion for singing. His musical talent allowed him many performing opportunities and even talent show wins. He recorded three independent albums. The wheels of change were set in motion when Michael McSweeney, a former aide to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, saw one of Michael Bublé’s live performances. He played one of Mr. Bublé’s independent albums for Prime Minister Mulroney, who then decided to hire him to play at his daughter’s wedding. As it just so happened, Grammy-winning producer David Foster was also in attendance at the Mulroney wedding. Meeting David Foster set a new trajectory for Mr. Bublé’s career. Many albums, hits, tours, television appearances, awards, and specials later, Michael Bublé is a household name known worldwide.
Michael Bublé has been a favorite singer of mine for years. His soulful and classical jazz performances are mesmerizing, helping to reinvent and keep the classics alive.
Thank you for joining me on my journey as I continue to celebrate Canadian Musicians. Please feel to comment below who you would like to see next.
Diverse and rich, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this past summer. This focus led me to explore many facets of Canada’s history. As I journeyed through some of its histories I was reminded of the countless Canadian musicians that have laid a rich musical foundation for our society. I love music – all types of music. Celebrating some of these musicians through drawing seems like a good fit.
Working with Tan Paper
With a variety of subjects in mind and a goal set out, I have decided to explore the warmth and tone that tan paper can add to a drawing. After purchasing a new Strathmore Toned Paper sketchbook and grabbing my charcoal pencils, I set out to sketch and learn more about the various artists that have enriched Canada. Three Canadian Artists portrait’s that I completed this summer include Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, and Terri Clark. Each of these musicians has helped shape Canada’s musical landscape. I will post more information on each artist in the upcoming weeks.
Canadian Musicians/Hand Lettering
Deciding that I should continue to develop my hand lettering skills, I plan on incorporating hand lettering with each portrait in upcoming posts. As I continue drawing portraits of more Canadian Musicians, I will incorporate hand lettering. The hand lettering will give more information about each artist. Although Canada is only 150 years old, it is wonderfully rich and a diverse musical country which should be celebrated. I look forward to exploring more Canadian musicians as I grow and develop as an artist.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I look forward to seeing where it will lead.
You can also follow me on Instagram for more photograph updates at eisycindy.
“Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed.” -Corita Kent
13 x 19 Charcoal – Moments
The older my children get the more I find they talk about childhood moments, and many times I am surprised by the moments that have had the most impact, or the ones that hold the greatest memories for them. It is those moments and the moments with other family and friends that mark time and have helped me become the person I am today.
Drawing and being engaged in creative activities gives hope, spurs productivity, and elevates mental alertness. Every time I work on a new art piece I find this to be the case. So, if this is true, why am I not drawing more? That is a great question. I guess I am just too lazy to pick up my pencil. No, really, life just gets super busy sometimes. When I do have time to become absorbed in a new art piece it is a great treat.
Working on this portrait for my niece was a refreshing break that seemed to come at the right time. Usually I need to give myself permission to relax and draw, so when I have a commission to work on it allows me to ease up on my self-imposed obligations and duties. After all, immersing myself into a creative space enables me to be more productive.
15 x 12 Charcoal
Thank you, Karly. I had a lot of fun reliving the past.
Working on the ram and bear cub this week reminded me of the larger bear cub charcoal Hide-and-Seek, which I did a couple years ago. Similar to this drawing, it was a story piece, incorporating expressions to bring about character of the subjects.
All those years of teaching writing have etched the all-too-familiar questions that help develop setting, character, motives, plot, etc. into my brain. What is the relationship between the bear cub and the ram? Is the ram annoyed, mischievous, or affectionate? How did the bear cub or ram end up in his current predicament? What happened just before? What will happen next? That is the general idea anyway.
As I was working on this sketch I came up with a couple storylines, however I have purposely left it untitled. Please feel free to come up with your own story idea. If you do send me an email at email@example.com. I would love to hear your story.
Jumbled, cluttered, whirlwind… If I could look inside my brain, I think I would see that exact chaotic mess of too many thoughts crashing around, each one vying for my attention. Okay, it’s probably not that bad. It is, however, essential for me to stop, breathe, prioritize, and refocus daily. Picking up my sketchbook helps me to regain this focus and be more productive.
This weekend I decided it was time for a sketch with less detail, using only a charcoal stick and eraser I set out to sketch a bald eagle. I blocked in most of the page with charcoal, being careful on the areas I knew would remain lighter. With my kneaded eraser I removed the excess charcoal to bring out the highlight areas. Easily completed in one sitting, this free-flowing method of drawing with charcoal is a great sketch break activity.
“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf
Do you remember being in high school and thinking that each minute, day, and year moved at a snail’s pace? I remember thinking that. Then I got married and started a family – time sped up a little. With each passing year time seemed to go faster and faster, until… Here I am with two adult children and another quickly approaching adulthood. When did that happen?
This week, as I worked on the above drawing, I was reflecting on the simple times of childhood. Life wasn’t cluttered with schedules and electronics. Time seemed to move a little slower. The constant flow of rocks and mud into my house has been replaced by the constant flow of my family, with devices in tow, heading out the door. Each day seems to clip by, sometimes at breakneck speed. Those little moments, like when everyone is home for supper at the same time, have become very precious. I find myself looking for opportunities to declutter life so I can linger in each moment and enjoy time spent with my family.
This past summer was filled with many great moments and captivating visuals. Infused with rich artistry, Würzburg was by far, one of my favorite places to visit. In front of the Würzburg residence, stands an ornate water fountain, depicting the poet, the wood-carver, and the painter.
The Painter – Mathias Grünewald
The five weeks I spent in Europe seem like a blur, it all happened too fast. It is now that I find myself retaking this trip as I journey through the photographs, sketches, and journals (so glad I kept a journal). Although Würzburg is not where our journey began in Europe, it is the place that has left the greatest visual impression. Behind the ornate fountain with its lifelike sculptures, and behind the doors of the Residence of the Prince, lies a vast collection of some of the most beautiful pieces of art that I have ever seen.
It would be safe to say, that the most amazing work of art I have experienced would be Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s staircase hall fresco. Tiepolo’s ability to use the lighting and spatial conditions of the grand-staircase hall only accentuates his mastery of perspective, color, and composition. Seamlessly Tiepolo ties together depictions of four continents into one continuous frieze. Beyond this staircase masterpiece are rooms filled with stunning workmanship. This is one of those places where the grandeur must be experience in order to understand its true brilliance.
This week brings the return of routine, and the end of the laid-back pace of summer. Even though having a break from routine is great, the productive nature that a schedule fosters is necessary. I enjoyed exploring the culture and arts of Germany in July, found satisfaction in completing many home projects in August, and relished the quality time spent with family and friends over the summer months. I had grand intentions to develop new art techniques, thinking I would have so much free time. It was interesting how the “free time” was always filled with bike rides, walks, talks, coffee time, getting together with friends…I finally had more time for those activities.
I guess it would be safe to say that I am more productive when I have a routine to follow. So, back to routine and back to art. In spring I started experimenting with new charcoal techniques. I wanted to create more depth in Summer Days. Utilizing charcoal powder,I found I was able to accomplish what I set out to do. Picking up where I left off, I thought I would try the same thing with a small, simple piece.
Doors of Europe – Nippenburg
There are a few things I would do differently if I did this piece, or a similar one, again. Overall, I am happy with the different feels that powdered charcoal can create.