White, blank, vast; a blinding, empty space that needed to be filled. I looked at it, waiting to be inspired.
He walked around the room, weaving in and out of our easels enthusing about the day’s lesson.
‘You are artists, creators, translators of your imagination and interpreters of reality. With such big responsibilities, you need to apply yourselves in new ways. Feel the colour, use movement, listen to the music and just be. Conduct that paint from the palette and create your symphony of colour. Be inspired. Put you heart and soul into it. And with that said, let me reveal your muse.’
He moved the screen that usually hid our subject of the day; a nude or still life objects, but today there was just, nothing.
‘Yes, my little gods. Heed my words and create your work out of this space here. What is there? What has been there? What could be there? What will be there? Draw it out. Put your iPods on and embrace the moment.’
He disappeared to make a coffee.
I looked around to see some bewildered faces wondering where they were going to start with the painting. Some were immediately inspired, closing their eyes and beginning to paint in the air on an invisible canvas, creating a concept in their internal world.
He’d told us to bring in some music to listen to so I just picked up a CD that my flatmate had left lying on the coffee table. She’d casually told me that her boyfriend was given the sampler following a recording session he’d done. She mentioned some famous guy was there but I can’t remember his name now. It had been sat there, unplayed, for weeks and instead, had been used as a coaster.
It was last minute, grabbing the CD, so I’d not had time to upload the music onto my iPod. I stuck it in my CD player; yeah that old fashioned device; that I always have in my rucksack. She never said who the artist was and the copy had no written indication as to who produced it or what type of music it contained. I pressed play and loaded my brush.
A voice spoke and it came from my left ear and travelled, as if the person speaking were walking in side my mind, to my right ear.
‘This is Solfeggio Frequency 741Hz.’
That was all he said, in a wonderfully calming, trusting voice. Then the music, if you can call it that, played. It was mesmerising. It wasn’t music per se, more like listening to the universal vibrations; it’s voice. It sounded crazy to think that but it was definitely spiritual, like the Gregorian chants from ancient monks. I listened and the waves of sound and colour lifted me to a different perspective. The room melted away and all I saw was the white canvas, waiting to be filled with life.
I was so absorbed in just being in the moment; like what he asked us to; I didn’t remember mixing the paints let alone applying it. All I knew was if I’d have closed my eyes, I’d have drifted into the deepest of meditative sleeps, to be woken up refreshed.
The music, or rather, the experience, stopped and I kind of awoke, and there was paint on the canvas. My goodness, was there ever paint on the canvas. What had I done? I mean I’m not being big headed but I am a good artist, but today, there was something about what he said and the music, the experience combined, that certainly inspired me beyond what I’d ever accomplished before.
It was abstract, with colour and form fusing in a dance; it was fireworks and sour sweet shudders; it was beautiful, and it was mine.
He came round each of us to critique our pieces and I was more than pleased by what he had to say.
‘Your choice of music seems to have channelled Kandinsky, which is quite appropriate because he tried to create the same effect on the viewer of his works as a musician does with music. But rather than seeing the sounds through the music, he wanted to capture the emotion of it.’
I framed the piece and hung it on the wall in the flat.
Different images came through the more I looked at it. I stared at the negative spaces and other images sprung to the fore, like one of those brain-teasers where the negative space is either a vase or two faces, depending on how you viewed it. The unseen picture developed and I began to understand. I was seeing the hidden emerging and the painting revealed a new message. It was weird. The pieces manoeuvred in the frame like a puzzle, reforming it and turning the negative shapes into a new complete image.
The hidden meaning? He said put your heart and soul into the work. Indeed I had and the reassembled image spoke of my soul; its intention.
I took a step forward away from reality and into a different one. My hand reached out and touched the thickly applied paint. It was almost a 3D form which seemed to pulse hypnotically, pulling me in. As I touched the array of abstract forms it seemed to release sounds and emotions, as if by my touch, I was playing some sort of instrument. The blue was calming whilst the yellow seemed aggressive, yet touching the two created the harmony of green, evoking images of spring meadows. The painting was alive with music, ignited senses and future dreams. It was exhausting to experience despite my elation.
A never ending dream, it seemed, with that familiar music repeating, repeating, and repeating itself. The concept of time had changed and though I knew only minutes had passed, I’m sure I’d been caught up in the painting for hours.
When she came home she looked up at my new masterpiece with delight, clapping her hands and feigning a forbidden touch. Her boyfriend was laid on the sofa staring at the painting.
‘What’s that you’re listening to?’ she said.
‘Oh, just something on her CD player. Great piece isn’t it?’ he said, pointing up. They both stared. ‘She really put her all into this one, didn’t she?’
‘I was just going to say that very same thing. Funny that.’