Art, Music, Fish – and some Babies!
This is such a crazy time. Of course, health is #1, but in terms of income, I’ve never been more grateful to be ‘juggling a few balls’ .
Thank goodness piano teaching rolls on (2/3 of my students opted in for online lessons) and there other other options to work on. We’re getting there – ‘just’.
Us creatives were hit early and we’re going to feel the pinch for a long time. One of the things about a music gig or an exhibition is: we bring people together. This is not so welcome currently. I understand & I’m doing my bit, working from home. There are people far worse off than us. My heart goes out to those that are struggling, losing loved ones, etc.
I purposely haven’t touched on this subject too much here, on this blog. I’ve wanted to offer something different online. But it’s become so huge, it’s having a major transformative effect on humans.
I find it helps to focus on a couple of positives:
We are being reminded what a (fragile) gift life is.
We are searching within to re-prioritise our lives.
I’ve been grateful most of my life. I never had much as a kid- the youngest of four, a single parent family with no car, etc. But I was loved and I never felt like I was missing out on anything.
I had a fractured skull in my 20s. Each and every day since has been a bonus.
I’m a positive person. I’ll see the parrots in the tree on a rainy day. I’m in touch with nature. I know when the snapper arrive, the squid, the black cockatoos … Nature lifts us.
I hope that when we all truly get back in touch with nature, we’ll be back in touch with our true selves and world wide conflict and grief will be greatly reduced. I do think we have a choice about where we are heading.
Ok , let’s get on with some music and art. That’s where I’m heading.
I like to think my seascape paintings bring nature’s vibe into people’s homes. The paintings continue to be well received. I’m so pleased they are making people happy -and I love the fact that people are reminded of the peace to be had at the beach.
This week’s Plein Air Painting:
It was a beautiful ‘blue sky day’ the day I painted this. Not bad for winter! No dolphins again this week, but a few gannets were on patrol.
Here’s some work in progress moments:
I use very few lines. I draw this very quickly, occasionally holding my thumb and ‘pinkie’ up, to check on proportions..
Then I paint the sky and ‘block in’ (roughly paint) other elements.
From then on, it’s a matter of adding shadows and highlights – details – using smaller brushes. I keep it ‘loose’ and try not to get bogged down anywhere.
This is an ‘on the spot’ sketch, to catch the colour and feeling. While it’s a piece of art, a painting unto itself, I can always use this -and the reference photos I take of the scene – to paint a more detailed and technically accurate studio painting, at a later date.
Here’s the finished (plein air ) painting.
Here’s where you can find more of these plein air paintings on my website
There’s also quite a few prints of the large ‘realism’ studio paintings like this:
My eyes aren’t what they used to be! All that detail I put in when I paint the studio paintings have had something to with it, I suspect…. I’ll have to go get my eyes tested!
I want to get some contact lenses too, so I can see what I’m doing as I perform for the music videos. I want to look like I’m in performance mode without the glasses on (there’s nothing wrong with spectacles, but I like the feeling of not wearing them when I perform).
Youtube music Video:
We All Start Out So Beautiful
This is a song by Paul Dredge and myself. I wrote the lyrics and Paul wrote the music to this one.
It is track number 1 on the the album Walking Through A Dream, which we recorded a couple of years ago. To me, this still feels like a ‘new release’. As the years went by, for various reasons, I didn’t manage to make videos to support the album.
I’m now playing catch up. There’s a lot of videos to make for a lot of songs that have never been publicised.
I asked Paul to forward me some baby / toddler / youngster photos. By chance I found ones of me that really matched. I enjoyed bringing this video together.
That’s me with my hands in position, already ready to play piano! Paul is deciding which instrument to play… he ended up mastering a staggering amount of instruments, in a number of different styles.
Recently APRA had an online panel talking about performing live gigs online – now this sounds like me. I perform my songs every week for myself at home, so I’d love to turn that into a gig! Some technical things to work out, then I’ll do it.
Evening is here, now. The light is fading into twilight. The pink/violet haze of the winter’s horizon across the water goes through its changing colours til they disappear for the night.
I think like a poet. I hear lyrics in phrases that are spoken around me or that simply pop into my head from somewhere.
I haven’t written many songs since the shut down. A lot of energy has been put into this blog, the podcast and the YouTube channel. Also, I’ve been mixing a Pascoe band album, remixing an old album and recording 10 new songs. Then there’s the online teaching and all sorts of other things… eg editing my piano teaching books…
I used to average about a song a week.I’ll get back into it. Here’s one from a while back, on the….
‘Song And A Chat’ Podcast..
(From the show notes): Welcome back to to another episode of ‘Song and a Chat’.
This week’s song talks about the idea of how a photograph – or a single memory can then bring into your mind a bunch of memories from the same time and then you discover you’ve actually remembered much more from that particular time than you thought you had.
Music has a way of bringing back memories, doesn’t it.
The song Photograph also explores how we ‘cast a line’ into our possible future…
..and that gives me a nice segue into letting you know: in this episode I talk about a fly fishing afternoon I shared with a couple of friends in the high country in New Zealand. So this podcast is turning out to be part ‘travel magazine’ too!
Recording these podcast episodes is leading me to some unexpected and often surprising (to me) concepts and avenues. It’s really great fun.
Photograph is also about those few special teachers that come into your life – for just the right amount of time – to show you something and set you on a course where you’re going to see it through.
As I chat, I sit at my piano and talk about the song from a musical /songwriting angle and also analyse the lyrics. It’s all done in a laid-back ‘light’ , inclusive manner …
I’ve said it before: I’m not going to tell you how to write a song, but I am going to tell you how I write a song.
Ok, curious? Want to hear more? I hope so ! Grab a cup, put your feet up and be entertained.
This is only my 20th episode. I’m brand new to this and I’m loving it. There’s plenty more to come!
and we’re back..
It’s been a couple of days of of new beginnings and one ending at my house. We did lose one of our guinea pigs. Pets are certainly a great way to learn about love, life and death, aren’t they.
I keep tropical fish, too. it’s a relaxing hobby. I think it’s important to have a hobby.
Anyway, something must’ve been in the air (or in the water). The neon tetras spawned, then the bronze catfish did the same and now there’s some new baby guppies.
Ok..here’s the tank
I enjoy looking after both the fish and the plants. The balance is obvious in such a focussed environment.
I hope humans realise we have to wake up and start looking after our planet – and ourselves – a whole lot more, very soon.
On that note, I believe we will get through this ‘dark night’ of Covid-19. We will bounce back and I think we will find ways to improve things. We will find ways to help each other. We are finding ways now.
This is me doing my bit, in a small way. I hope you’re enjoying the music and art. There’s much more on the way.
Here’s a Solo Piano piece
It’s 19 minutes long. Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and close your eyes. This piece of music takes me back to one of my favourite rivers (and fishing spots) in New Zealand. it’s what I was thinking about as I improvised this piece. In my mind, I was up with the gold finches in the poplar trees, then down in the depths of the pools of the river with the trout (Maaan) . . See if the music takes you anywhere.
This week’s cartoon YouTube video is :
Elephant In The Shower
There’s some more piano music on this video. A totally different sort of piece. it was composed in a more traditional sense, but it did come to me almost fully formed.
An elephant in the shower, as you do! I hope you enjoy drawing with me this week.. if you haven’t tried yet and think “I can’t draw” – just have a go. I think you might be pleasantly surprised!
I’m getting great feedback from students and teachers who have been using these videos during class time. That’s ‘gold’ to me – creative exercises for everyone..excellent!
I’ve changed the end of this video – I’ve added some more cartoon elephants and added a section on things that you can do to help this artist along – if you’d like to.
Apart from that, I hope you enjoy jumping on youtube and having a drawing session!
The piece on the cartoon video is from The Unfolding album , track 2: Memorial
Of course, you can also stream my music on all the usual platforms, eg: spotify, Apple music, etc.
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Sign up to my email list ( email@example.com ) you’ll get to hear about new art and music, exhibitions and gigs..videos, podcasts, blog posts & plus other goodies. Plus you’ll receive a link to a 12 track album for free…
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That would help me so much. Thank you in advance.
Right, that’s about it for this week, apart from the usual song lyrics from this week’s Podcast episode.
Feel like another cuppa? Sit back for 30mins and I’ll tell you a story or two and you’ll hear the song – and you’ll hear about the song.
Have a great week.
Photograph words & music by P. Pascoe
I have a photograph
Time captured in technology
A moment frozen from the past
Course of events have followed logically
Pinpoint an instant
When you recall a real memory
All those little bits and pieces
Fall together forming destiny
A jigsaw puzzle where you
Imagine it complete
A vivid picture
There can be no retreat
Perhaps you’d never want it
If you knew what lay in store
Pain and sorrow
You know there must be more
I have certain friends
Who’ve long lain silent
Speaking in my memory
Thoughts still valid sent
And it all ties together
Like a peaceful growing tree
Seasons always changing
Going on into infinity