Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tributes to Musicians - Part One

Since my last post, I've been thinking a lot about my good friends Dan and Molly... wonderful people in their own right, as well as living reminders of my years spent in New York City. Their music touched my soul in a very strong way - it still does - and to my delight, Molly and I became close, running around town in pursuit of a variety of activities. Though I am exceedingly happy with where my life has taken me (especially considering the fellow I am with), there are times I definitely miss them.

I created this evening's illustration for Dan after listening to one of his "Roof Garden Jass Band" albums. He specializes in reed work - clarinet and saxophone - and his artistry is beyond my powers of description. Sinuous, controlled and wonderfully sensitive. After hearing his band's album (focusing on what he calls "rag-a-jazz", transitional pieces dating from the 1900s-1920s), I couldn't help but show him how his music inspired me. Thus, "Rue Levinson".

The illustration depicts me, surrounded by my pets (who by default always listen to the music too, as I work) - pen in hand, my ear turned to Dan as he plays, sitting on my console Victrola phonograph. My studio at the time boasted deep red/terra cotta walls, and black woodwork. The stained glass window that frames Dan is a loose tribute to his mentor and dear friend, the late Rosy McHargue. Lyres flank the upper corners, and snakes bookend the piece's title - representing the beautifully fluid, serpentine nature of his clarinet talents.

I adore musicians - I grew up in a house filled with them. The magic they create has an incredibly deep influence on my work... it only makes sense that I ended up with Matt, in an environment that feeds my creativity to no end. Illustrative tributes to them are innate to me - tomorrow I'll feature another one - even more personal than tonight's. Until then, enjoy Rue Levinson, and kindly thank a musician.


  1. Hi, Danielle. My name is Aiko and I am not sure if you've heard of me before but I am a friend of your brother's friend Doug. So, greetings and happy to read you blog! I just can't help but respond how your entry has moved me. I do understand and relate. Although I am not a musician and don't know much about the technicals of music, I have had an intangible kinship to music and have been forever grateful to those musicians who have imparted such beautiful things to me. Carry on. All power to you.

  2. So glad you enjoyed it, Aiko. I absolutely have heard of you - Doug and Christian have recently been in touch, and I got the word about you. :) Thanks for the good word - musicians are truly gifts of heaven, and we're so lucky to benefit from their gifts. Best wishes.