y Soleares (2010),
36 × 36 in.
Colors. These are the standard
flamenco hues....black, white, and teal.
Polka dots. Often, the woman flamenco
dancer wears a dress with polka dots, which are
representative of the numerous small round
mirrors that adorn skirts and other clothing
of Indians of the Punjab and of Rajasthan,
traditional homelands of the Roma [Gypsies]. Originally
from Persia, these mirrors are designed to ward
off the evil eye. As it is probable that the
Roma migrated to Andalusia via Persia and
North Africa during the 16th and 17th century
Mogul invasions of their Indian homeland, they
are closer to their roots than their Central and
East European cousins who immigrated centuries
earlier. Certain combinations of colored dots
are not used by flamenco performers, such as red
dots on black or any teal dots.
12 columns. The major rhythm of
older Gypsy flamenco — not the more Celtic or Andalusian folk fandangos sevillanas, and
farrucas — are 12-beat,
with various intermediate accents. 12-beat
rhythms are ancient and still common tals in
Hindustani music: ektal [6-6, or
2-2-2-2-2-2, or 4-4-2-2, which is specifically
termed chau-tal]. This familiar 12-beat
cycle may have continued among migrating
and siguiriyas are two flamenco forms of
12-beats. The rhythm of the siguirya, with
colored accents, is
The soleá generally has the rhythm of 1-2-3
rows in the painting depict the soleá rhythm
played by the guitar after the
given introductory rhythm. This is
[11-12] with the last two being rests. Soleares
and siguiriyas tend to be slower, more serious
forms than the festive or faster bulerías and
alegrias and tientas. Black squares or dots in
the painting are accented beats.
drummer or palmero (flamenco hand clapper) can
look at the painting and play the flamenco
rhythm, though this percussion is often in
syncopation to the core guitar or dancer beat.
the painting, I trust you will perceive the
music, the percussive stamping of the dancer,
the energy and passion and also the gravitas.
30 × 30 in.
Pungmul is Korean traditional rural, or farmer's, music and its
dance formations, full of color and complex drum, gong, and
sometimes shrill reed patterns. The repeats of hues on
each row (2-2-2-2-2-2; 3-3-3-3; 2-3-3-2, 2-3-2-3-2; 3-3-2;
and 2-2) indicate the rhythmic forms that occur in a suite. The shape of the painting
suggests the hour-glass form of the chonggu drum, a chief
element in Korean music. The circles are akin the colored flower
pom-poms on some musicians' hats. Colors are traditional.
36 × 36 in.
This painting depicts and evokes music and, like music itself, is
rooted in mathematics. The jazz of Thelonious Sphere Monk is
unique. He took 4/4 measures and divided their time irregularly
with eights and sixteenth notes and rests and funky arpeggios,
stretching and condensing interbar time yet always hitting the
main beat. Tals are Hindustani rhythms of ragas that range from
5 matra [beats] up to 16 matra, divided into different patterns,
such as the 10 matra jhap-tal, which can be divided as either
2-6-2 or 2-3-2-3 beats. While ek-tal is 12 beats, often split as
6-6, chau-tal is also of 12 beats but this rhythm is divided as
4-4-2-2. The painting has 12 rows, suggestive of standard 12-bar
blues. Moreover, as geeks may have noticed, the use of circle
and vertical bar follows the binary number system, such that the
sum of the four sections across each row is 12. Like music, the
painting is holistic without a focal point; it dazzles as the
eye searches for relational patterns. The color juxtapositions
are not random but gestaltic. As both jazz and ragas are
improvisational within scales or modes and a root melody, this
painting is similarly inventive within a fundamental grid, with
objective, if achieved, of meshing with the humanity, essence,
and spirit of these and similar musics. And then there is the serendipitous optical illusion of each
row's fluidity and movement.
30 × 24
side view of Rio de Janeiro, Morro do Cantagalo down toward
Ipanema, is dense, energetic, fast, and syncopated of flow like
the old Brazilian musical form, choro, that took the European
waltz, polka, and schottishe and combined them with African
rhythm: sentimental Brazilian ragtime. The composition has three
converging lines of buildings, much like the music. With its ensembles of 7-string violăo guitar or
4-string cavaquinho, pandeiro tambourine, and solo instruments (as flute,
bandolim mandolin, or saxophone), choro has never died and has becoming popular
30 × 30
The light, playful, and bubbly Brazilian samba, its dance and
music, is represented in this painting with its randomlike
circle array, as happy a sight as a bunch of balloons at a fair.
Festival de Fčs
36 × 36 in.
The pattern of
circles represents vividly colored arabesque titles, which
sometimes form circular arrays. The happy and mystical
spirit of the Festival is evoked. The missing circle
projects depth, as if the grid was a screen.
Fugue (2015), 24 × 24 in.
Klee created a
watercolor in 1921 with a similar title, Fugue in Red.
The musicality of the architectural levels, shifting, and
angles is obvious, and the use of such a contrasting array
of colors emphasizes the contrapuntal repetition and
interweaving of geometric shapes.
Music (2012), 20 × 16
The Chinese and
Japanese have an ideogram that refers to music and sound.
The painting has metaphysical basis: music is based on
vibration and change, hence matter; the ancient's Music of
the Spheres; and the cosmic AUM. The painting also suggests
The Big Bang and Genesis: in the beginning was the
24 × 30 in.
Link to enlargement
My trip to
Rajasthan, India, is the inspiration of this painting of very
Based on a photograph (found in my Rajasthan tour section) but
with some small liberties as well as substituting the costume of
the dancer, the depicted group are Roma in a desert encampment.
The hand gesture, or mudra, represents happiness and wealth (not
necessarily correlated). The pose is akin to that in Spanish
flamenco, which was developed by émigré Roma, centuries ago.
Piano Jazz (2003), 18 × 26 complete.×
Plywood is part of the painting
Piano keys are
fairly obvious; and the blue ones are, of course, blue notes.
The background wood is that of the instrument. The optical
illusion is the jazz of reality.
Euterpe's Ecological Ensemble (2003)
30 × 40 in.
There are rules in ecosystems, and the color juxtapositions also
obey governing principles. The bright colors are the organisms
of this habitat and they flow and interact. Each line seems to
undulate, though all are straight lines, and the overall optic
illusion of depth also suggests change and movement.
Euterpe is the Muse of music.
(2002), 24 ×28 in. *
Plywood is part of the painting
The stained grain of the wood suggests night and water, as
ripples and puddles. The blue circles are the musical blue
notes and minor keys. They are a lens to the person's emotions.
Frankye refers to my friend, Frankye Kelly, a jazz and blues
Midnight (2004), 24 × 36 in.
The color scheme of dark blues and earth tones is a poetic and
artistic interpretation of the song, written by Thelonious Monk.
Music is indicated by the optical illusion of depth and
Symphony in Sea
(1998), 18 × 24
This painting is fairly obvious, being a close-up of a stringed
instrument, specifically a cello. The title is suggested by the
hues of the vibrating strings.
On the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe
(2005), 24 × 30 in.
The railroad of song had merged out of existence, but the
cartoon tracks and [wind-up] locomotive are here, along with the
hub of Atchison, the sunflower of Topeka, and the mystic cross
of Santa Fe against a desert rising sun.