Musings on art and music by a left brained non artistic layman

April 16th, 2009 by Doug

I graduated from college with a degree in business. When I encounter a problem in life, I like to find a solution systematically. I enjoy mathematics. When I want to draw something, I pick up a ruler. Being a draftsman for a time was the closest I ever came to artistic expression. I was told in college that if I want to write, I had best stick to technical stuff. So, for me to offer opinions on creative endeavor is beyond my purview. However, I do have a couple of thoughts I’d like to talk about.

I am moved by good art and good music. I can’t help it, there is something about some forms of art and some forms of music that really have an effect on my soul. Let me give you a couple of examples.

A couple of weeks ago I was following the comments of my niece on Facebook. She was talking about how much she misses her husband who is a soldier and away from home for very long periods of time. At the time that I was reading about this, she was having troubles with managing her home and taking care of her young children and such. She was really missing him and so were his children.

Then earlier this week, I was in the process of working on this blog site for Maria. It is one of my duties to build the content for Maria’s galleries we are showing to the world. One of the paintings I was posting is the one entitled “The Soldiers Father”. This is an award winning painting that has given Maria quite a bit of notoriety. I personally have always enjoyed this work. From my left brained, layman point of view, I like how realistic it looks and I think the eyes are particularly well done. I can’t seem to find anything that isn’t technically correct. So, I can see why she always gets great reviews on this work.

However, when I was posting this painting to the blog, something new happened to me. I had stopped for a moment to check on the quality of the graphic and was looking into his eyes. Suddenly I was no longer thinking about the merits of the painting. I became transfixed on the feelings I could see in his eyes and also in his facial expression. I suddenly could feel the loneliness of my niece and her children. From there, I could feel the anxiety of a father who does not know if his son will survive while being in harms way. Then I looked deeper. Now, beyond the fear and concern, I could see patriotism and the love and caring of a proud father, mother, wife, husband, child or friend. The knowledge that those who remain behind are strong and concerned and fearful. I will never see “The Soldiers Eyes” with only my left brain again.

Interestingly, I had another incident yesterday that touched me deeper than my normal left brain approach to life. It was tax day. Since I don’t get a refund, I waited until yesterday afternoon to post my returns. For the benefit of U.S. history buffs, my own little Boston Tea party if you will. It was a dreary, snowy, wet and cold day. Totally appropriate for tax day. Anyway, as I was returning home, a particular song came up on my CD player. It is a tune written by Chas Hathaway, another member of our family and company. The name of the tune is “Rain”. My goodness, talk about an appropriate tune for a stormy day.

The phenomena that I experienced was startling. Rather than dragging me deeper into the doldrums, I found myself looking at the world with keener interest. Since this tune takes you through subtle nuances of emotion associated with a stormy day, suddenly, instead of seeing dull gray pastures and wet shiny roads, I was driving through a wonderland of nature being nourished by life giving moisture that gave me a feeling of exhilaration and excitement. I was happy to be alive and a part of the experience. It completely changed my outlook for the day. My good spirits lasted the rest of the day. Just like “The Soldiers Father” and my left brain eyes, I will never hear Chas’ tune “Rain” with the same left brain ears again.

I am still a left brained person, just not quite the same one that I was before.

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One Response to “Musings on art and music by a left brained non artistic layman”

  1. Wow! This is exactly why we artists and musicians do what we do! It’s so exciting to hear that our efforts aren’t for naught. Sometimes I wonder whether or not people see the stories I’m trying to tell through my art. I try so hard to portray emotion and speak about the human condition or share a bit of the beauty I see but I’m never sure whether or not I’ve succeeded. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! By the way, you all should check out Chas’ music. It’s so good.

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