Before starting a commission that includes multiple paintings, I determine a color palette. Using the same pigments throughout the series is a way to create unity and connection. I look for warms and cools of most of the pigments. I can glance at it when trying to figure out what color to use to get the effect I want. I am creating seven paintings inspired by Buxtehude's "Membra Jesu Nostri" for a choral concert. Step one is to listen to this music from the 17th century - all the way through. I let it wash over me. I listen for its tone, movement and color. Even though I don't understand the language, it communicates. Then I read the lyrics, written in the late 11th or early 12th century. And, you guessed it...I listen to the music while reading the lyrics. I make notes of my impressions. I read the conductor's notes on the piece which is most helpful. I use the music multiple times to inspire my initial sketches and when I start painting. I try to figure out design motifs that will also connect the paintings together as one creation. Check back to see the transparent layers of the underpainting, the beginnings of an abstract painting.
Robyn Sand Anderson