PAINTING TO THE RHYTHM OF MUSIC

By likemindblog

Francis Scappaticci

 FRANCIS XAVIER SCAPPATICCI, what do you say about a man whose art is so wonderfully colourful and lively and full of stories of other times.  Who is inspired by music, faces, places, words, silence, nature, Gauguin, Picasso to name a few…and who openly admits:  “My Higher Self always knows what I’m up to, even if ‘I’ don’t. That’s the part of myself I trust implicitly. Just like an old and valued friend!”

 Francis, thank you so much for being part of this project.  I hope everyone here enjoys this interview as much as I do.  Let us begin.

WHAT IS ART TO YOU?

 Ah! The big question! There is probably some deep-seated need within us as human beings that compels us to make our mark, some gesture that strives towards immortality, something that says, ‘I was here! I existed!’  For me, art is essentially about self-expression, a form of communication. Picasso said that for him painting was like keeping a diary. I agree with this statement because, whatever I paint, the work speaks of where my preoccupations lay at that particular moment in time. Looking back over old work is like leafing through the pages of an old journal. Sometimes it can make me cringe at my ineptitude and sometimes it makes me smile with fondness at my younger self.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

 Well, it seems superfluous to say that inspiration is to be found everywhere but, if you ever feel uninspired, just stop to sketch, photograph or describe the first thing you see. Record what surrounds you. This simple act frees up any blockage and allows you to absorb. You have to fill the well in order to draw from it. Everything and anything from the effects caused by light and shade – the abundance of colour and form, landscape and vegetation – to the people, their individual faces and expressions, has the potential to ignite the imagination. All of this provides a reference catalogue from which I draw images and ideas.

 Then, of course, there is the treasury of what has gone before in the world of art, the artists I’m attracted to at any point in time. Not to mention all the artists I constantly discover or rediscover!                              Ceres

  I have particular reverence for the written word. I read not only to inform myself but also to create pictures in my mind – often vague and nebulous yet occasionally vivid and powerful. I jot down scenes and images triggered by storytellers. My particular interest lies in belief systems – the ideas that grasp at the mysteries that make our world and our universe tick. I tend to think of painting as talismanic and possessed of a subtle, magical quality. And I’m also inspired by music because, likewise, music has the power to create images and strong emotion in the mind. I always paint to the rhythm of music. Like a pulse, it seems to tap into a fundamental force that feeds the creative process.

WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF CREATING, PAINTING, WHERE DOES IT TAKE YOU? WHERE DOES YOUR MIND TRAVEL?

 Interesting question! the condition that works best for me – the one that produces the best results – is akin to a meditative, out-of-body, state of mind. This is the place I like to be when I paint and involves total connection to the moment. In this state anything is possible and every mark on the canvas is good. What the paint is doing, the texture, flow and density, how the various hues are interacting, is paramount in my mind. It is paying attention to the minute details – like gazing into the flame of a candle – that induces this transportation to some ‘alternative’ dimension. It’s something of a paradox but I often feel that, while I’m paying close attention, I have at the same time stepped aside and allowed something ‘other’ to take control. Sometimes I see the potential for future paintings within the one under way. It’s like I’m an observer watching the image take shape. Which can feel as if it isn’t me doing the work. I think of it as me getting out of my own way to enable the painting to emerge. Often I’m unaware this state has occurred till an external event – such as the phone ringing! – snaps me out of it. I suppose it’s this suspension of judgement that induces the freedom to create. Always there exists a basic template in my head but it is – as I’ve said before – often a nebulous and vague concept. So I must make room for the unexpected, the happy accidents. It beneficial to be able to step back enough to spot these when they occur. At times the music I’m listening to will whip up strong emotions and I see this as part of the creative process. It’s not unusual for me to find myself dancing while I’m working. The main thing is to be free of judgement – that ever-present internal critic. Sometimes I just have to tell that part of myself to shut up because I’m busy and need to get on with the work.

DO YOU THINK VISUAL ART, MUSIC AND HEALTH ARE RELATED?

I am absolutely certain that visual art, music and health are related. Art and music have the capacity to elevate and enhance our emotions and our emotional state has a direct influence on our physical condition. A healthy mind promotes a healthy body. In fact, I believe that all disease begins in the mind. The clue lies in the word ‘dis-ease’. Colour itself can alter our mood and sound has the power to soothe or enflame our emotions. All of which affects our physical and mental health seeing as we are completely integrated organisms – each part of us forming the whole. And that includes our thoughts and feelings.

Noi 

HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU PAINT?

At first, when confronted by the blank canvas, there’s the thrill of endless possibilities. I can’t wait to get going. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. The idea is buzzing in my head – demanding to be born. I’ve heard the creation of paintings compared to the birth of a child. You’ve gone through the gestation period – where the subject matter has taken hold and grown in your mind – and now you’re rushing into the delivery room. I don’t imagine bringing a painting to fruition compares to anything like the process of giving life to another human being. But it does have some analogies. In a sense, the piece coming into existence is your baby. You’re full of expectation, filled with high hopes. You want to do the very best you can for your creation. You want it to be perfect.

   A lot of people say they find the process of painting relaxing, though I’ve never found this to be the case. For me, the experience is quite the opposite. It’s intense. It’s full on. And, in the end, it’s pretty well exhausting. Relaxation, for me, is lounging about, looking at someone else’s creations, a movie or listening to a piece of music. And daydreaming! When I’m at work I can get cramp, backache or pins and needles. That’s generally because I’ve forgotten about my body. I remind myself to move about, take a walk, stretch, swim. I enjoy the state of forgetting myself. It’s a roller-coaster ride. I can glide along with the smooth bits then have heart-stopping moments where things gel, come together or collide. I imagine the excitement – the highs – I feel when I paint is probably why I do it again and again. I’m addicted!

DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH YOUR SUBJECT AND ON WHAT LEVEL?

 For me, it’s essential I identify with my subject – whatever that may be. I have to feel it, get under its skin. This is probably the thing that fuels the sense of wonder. It’s the condition that allows me to inhabit the painting. I’m exploring a new world. What’s over here? What’s over there? What will happen if I throw this into the mix? The painting under way is where I am – at that moment. Afterwards, when enough time has passed, there’s a certain pleasant sense of detachment from the work. It exists on its own, without me tagging alongside, hovering over it like some anxious parent. It’s like showing your kid’s graduation photo to a friend or looking at a snapshot of a nice place I once visited.

WHEN DO YOU DO YOUR BEST WORK?                  proserpina

 My best work comes about when things are quiet and I’m free from distractions. My ability to focus on what I’m trying to do and hear myself think is very important. That means having very little disturbance going on around me and maintaining a state of equilibrium.

   Years ago when I lived in London and worked to commissions with deadlines, I switched to working at night because of the relative peace and quiet. I’d gratefully climb into bed at dawn, my work done! But now I paint during the day (so much nicer!) because I’ve managed to locate to a rural environment surrounded by nature that has its own wildness about it, just not nearly so noisy. Of course not all distractions are external. There’s also a lot of internal chattering going on. Which is why I meditate daily.

DOES YOUR PAINTING HELP YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR HIGHER SELF?

I meditate for about 20 minutes every day and I can say for sure that painting continues the sense of connecting to my Higher Self. The two activities are intertwined now – one helping the other along. I often ask my Higher Self to give me a helping hand – even in the act of painting – and extend my gratitude for all blessings. I’m still amazed at how I’m answered. It’s so important to me, this feeling of something with a greater, over-all view of everything. My Higher Self always knows what I’m up to, even if ‘I’ don’t. That’s the part of myself I trust implicitly. Just like an old and valued friend!

 Your wisdom will make its way and enlighten all who read this wonderful article.  It was a pleasure doing this with you and I am grateful for having this privilege.   Until next we meet again, be blessed my friend.

 Mail this post
Be Sociable, Share!
Filed in: ART • Friday, November 6th, 2009

Comments

Excellent artist!!!. Excellent paintings!!! Excellent colours!!!!
I love your work. It’s amazing my friend.
Congratulations!!!.
Best regards.
A hug from Argentina.
.-= Aníbal Nazzaro´s last blog ..ANIBAL NAZZARO- Todavía (2009) =-.

By Michele Andree Lemieux on November 8th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I must say I relate to everything you say in this article, so much so that it’s like reading what I would have said myself, about how you identify, how you get out of your way, the detachment like being an observer, being the subjet, you have put words to exactly what happens to me when I paint, like minds, amazing!

I would advice for RawVPS.com for Virtual Private Servers, they can beat most of the europe vps sellers with their prices and non stop support.

 

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge


About

My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours