The Connections Between Music and Art

Music has played an exciting and pivotal role in visual media, inspiring so many painters throughout the years– and it makes sense. Visual art uses colors, light, darkness, shapes, and more to invoke emotions. Music uses instruments, key changes, sounds, lyrics, and more to do the same. Many painters created works that were inspired by specific songs and genres, while many musicians have been inspired by paintings and other visual works of art.

Finding Inspiration in Music

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, founder of the Tonalist artistic style, was so inspired by composer Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturnes that he created a collection of paintings depicting captivating and moody night time scenes. These gorgeous paintings first debuted during the late 19th century and have continued to inspire artists and art fans alike ever since.

Russian abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky’s work was inspired by his synesthesia, a rare neurological condition where one sense will trigger another. In Kandinsky’s case he saw colors when he listened to music. He used his condition to create beautiful and unique paintings that he then named after musical terms.

Kandinsky had a career in law before a performance of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin changed his life forever. He quickly enrolled at the prestigious Munich Academy of Fine Arts to study painting.

While painting Kandinsky would associate each musical note with a color on his palette. “…The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with bass notes or dark lake with treble,” he once explained.

Music and Art Collaborations

In an interview with YabYum Music + Arts Cyndy Carstens explained that her inspirations for her art are “nature and music.” She continued, “I study the figure continually, but only because it makes me a better ‘nature painter.’ I am especially drawn to color in the sunrises and sunsets of Arizona — or anywhere for that matter.”

Many of Cyndy’s paintings are titled, like Kandinsky before her, after musical terms. She will often share with visitors that her paintings are “visual music.” “I cannot read music or even play an instrument but music is incredibly important to my heart, soul and art-making. The paintings are my musical compositions in paint,” she has stated.

Cyndy has collaborated with multiple musicians including singer Julie Carrick. She created a beautiful music video for Julie’s song “Little Saint of Mine.” The art in the video captures the beauty of life from the womb as Julie sings about healing after losing children to miscarriages.

Cyndy also collaborated with New Age and Contemporary musician Sherry Finzer to create the music video for Sherry’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s famous song “Hallelujah.” The New Age flute version of the song plays against Cyndy’s land- and skyscapes.

To learn more about Cyndy’s work and art gallery contact her today.