Thursday, March 17, 2011

Claude Debussy

CLAUDE DEBUSSY

COMPOSER SERIES

Finished Renaissance Oil Collage painting

What I love about being an artist is that whenever I decide to start a new series, I feel the need to learn all I can about the subject matter in which I am about to embark. Take this new composer series I have started for instance. Claude Debussy was the first composer chosen and as I stated in an earlier posting, he is the first painting I have ever created using a male as my subject. (I have sculpted males though) The reason for this is because most of my paintings and sculpture are accompanied by a story I have written and quite frankly, I don’t think I could write a "man" story. I don’t understand them well enough to capture the essence of what they are about.

Crackled musical score

In creating the painting, in which I used the Renaissance Oil method, I turned up my CD player and listened to “Clair De Lune” the entire time I painted. This piece, composed by Debussy is one of my favorites. It took me back to the early 1900’s when Debussy was composing some of his finest pieces.

Debussy started playing piano at the age of 7 and by the time he was ten, he showed very promising musical talent. By 1900, he had achieved great success in Paris with his opera, Pelleas et Melisande.

Old time sepia of a woman depicting the women in Debussy's life

I added a sepia picture of a young woman to the collage to represent the women in his life. He had two wives and several other entanglements including women. One can only read between the lines to know that after marrying twice and with one wife and a prior girlfriend both trying to commit suicide, he had to have led a complex life.

Close-up of depressed expression on Debussy's face

I painted a heavy brow to depict Debussy’s depression, which continued into his later life. He died of cancer at an early age in 1918 at the young age of 56. He was working on a series of chamber music at the time of his death. I wonder what magical compositions we have all missed because of his early death.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

24 comments:

  1. wonderful..can't wait to see more in this series

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great subject Debussy. I have not long finished reading 'Sepulchre' by Kate Mosse, a terrific book which also covers quite a bit of Debussy's life. Hope you get the chance to read this book as it inspired me to paint like mad, in fact I couldn't stop or think about anything else until the artwork was finished. Totally insane I know, but just couldn't help myself.... Am now in love with Chagall's work.......so obviously I am fickle......lol Have a great week, Annette x
    Have a great week. Annette x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful blog post and very informative! I LOVE Clair De Lune - so beautiful. It's funny, my son always bugs me that I never draw/paint men ~ it's always women, I think because women's faces are so delicate and girlie and I am a true girlie girl.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of art you have created.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can tell already that this series will be something special.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember when this lovely piece was in the "thought process", Cheryl. Well . . . this is really amazing! I can only imagine how wonderful and rich the colors and texture are "in person". This is the beginning of an amazing series, and I can't wait to see more! Hugs, Terri xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. A wonderful tribute to Debussy, Cheryl! Isn't it so interesting what we can learn as we explore the life of others through our art?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Cheryl! I am not familiar with your subject artist. But thanks for sharing some information about him. Though I am not into music, I love hearing interesting stories of composers and artisits.

    We actually share the same behavior in doing our task. I also enjoy doing my job with music.

    Thank you for posting this article. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is such an amazing piece! Sometimes it seems like as artists when we force ourselves to move out of our accustomed "comfort zones" the results are incredible. I love the way you crackled the music and sepia image into the piece and his expression is perfect. WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is really wonderful, Cheryl!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stunning!!--and I think because you to took the time to "know" him--is what brought this piece to life--what interesting facts about his life. I went to the art museum in Brooklyn this time, and it's so fascinating how alot of these artists died at an early age.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the information , beautiful painting.....

    ReplyDelete
  12. Another artful painting and fantastic tribute to the great french composer Debussy.
    Have a nice weekend,
    Hugs Anja

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is just incredibly moving and beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Cheryl, I can see how much thought and care you put into this piece. It has a lot of emotion and sensitivity. I will look forward to seeing how your Frieda painting comes out!

    ReplyDelete
  15. One of my favorite composers. I love prelude to the afternoon of a faun and his string quartets. Beautiful my dear!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I believe the real secret to a great painting is knowing your subject matter. I can tell you did your homework for your first piece, BRAVO!!!
    Its really interesting to find out so much about his personal life as well. Depression, attempted suicides by his lovers. Makes you wonder?
    Cheryl you need to enter this in The new Painting blog on Fridays. The link is posed on my blog. hope to see you there!
    hugs Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  17. Once again you have captured the personality of your subject. The sadness in his eyes says it all! Although Debussy may be your first painting of a man, this work portrays such deep emotions as if you have been doing men all your life. Spectacular! your friend, Trish

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well done my friend. Hugs and happy spring!

    ReplyDelete
  19. WOW! Beautiful absolutely beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gorgeous work Cheryl..he has a powerful presence and beautiful essence to him..and I so love the green background.a wonderful energy is sparking from it with him...lovely..shine on..you are super talented in all that you do!
    Hugs kindred,beautiful!
    Victoria

    ReplyDelete
  21. Spectacular piece with so much richness. I also enjoyed learning more about his life.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful rich expression in your art Cheryl. I know of his music but not so much about his life - what a wonderful portrayal and tribute you have created!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for checking me out. You are a most talented artist. As if your sculpture isn't beautiful enough, your paintings and collage are inspiring. I have always dreamed of sculpting. I just might show up at one of your enticing retreats. Now I'm following you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Cheryl...Your painting is truely inspiring of Debussy. Doesn't everyone love Clair de Lune? Your array of talents never cease to inspire me! Love your coathangers too especially the one in blues and laces.
    Glad you liked my table and cards. And thank you what's more, for commenting - so nice!
    Hugs, Suzy

    ReplyDelete

If convenient, please leave a comment. I read every one and thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts.