Music To My Ears!

Music is such a wonderful thing. Can I play it? No, except if you count the half a song I learnt to play on my 3rd learning attempt at the age of 16, in 1979 with my Brother, Larry as Tutor.

Or in 2011, when I purchased a Harmonica as I had always enjoyed its sound, and found out that learning to play it would assist with breathing, in terms of doing public speaking. I learnt the first two lines of ‘Kum By Yah.’ The first two lines are exactly the same…hmmm. Like the guitar, I lacked the daily discipline of practice. That could probably be the end of the line as far as me attempting to play music…

Larry went on to learn 1/2 dozen different instruments, write some music, can sing, does Watercolour painting and uses soft Pastels.

I was in a shop yesterday, and The Beatles, ‘Penny Lane’ came on. My mind was instantly transported back to my early years when life seemed no doubt, easier, more fun where I had no responsibilities. Such wonderful memories flooded back!

7 years of age when The Beatles ‘called it a day’ in 1970, my music world was full of The Beatles, Pop, Motown etc courtesy of my Sister, Cheryl who was 17 at the time. My Brother, Larry (4 years older than me) was also heavily into ‘The Lads From Liverpool’, The Beach Boys, other band legends from the 60’s, Elvis and 50’s music.

Moving into the 70’s my sibling’s musical influences on me continued with Neil Diamond, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, to name but a few.

Even though the joy of being able to play music has seemingly escaped my life, music continues to be an incredible force in my life.

Yes, I am a long-term Beatles, Elvis & Bruce Springsteen Fan but my musical tastes did broaden over the ensuing years and include:

The Rolling Stones; Tommy Emmanuel; Status Quo; James Morrison (Trumpet); Amy Grant; Frank Sinatra; Gene Krupa, Dean Martin, John Lee Hooker, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Guitar Shorty, Lambchop; Lee Kernaghan, John Denver, Galapagos Duck; Acoustic Alchemy; Vivaldi; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Fourplay, The Moody Blues, Creedence Clearwater Revival, MUSE, are some of my other favourites.

Genres include Rock, Pop, Blues, Australian Country, Motown, Disco, Swing, Jazz, Folk, Classical and some Alternative.

Music inspires me, soothes, relaxes and entertains me and for that, I am exceedingly grateful.

Written by David Johnson
9 July 2017

The Journey Has Begun…

As long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed looking at Art, particularly Paintings.

Many hours have been spent visiting Art Galleries, viewing books, magazines on Art and Art images on the Internet. I love investigating the different Styles and Movements that have (& are being created).

Prior to 2010 I hadn’t really given much thought to actually picking up a brush, except that I thought I might ‘have a go’ when I retired. ‘Out of the blue’ I decided to take a 6 week drawing course at a small Art Gallery about half an hour from home.

I learnt there that I (apparently) draw by line instead of tone and had a wonderful time drawing on A5 to A2 paper using Graphite pencil and Charcoal on subjects such as Architecture, Head & Shoulder Life Portraits and Nature.

It was after the Drawing course that I started to get interested in actually trying my hand at painting. I started playing around with Watercolour. At this point I did not even realise that Watercolour is considered to be the hardest medium. From there I ventured onto Acrylic and enjoyed playing with that, though after talking to the owner of a local Art store I decided to try Oil painting.

I am enjoying Oil painting immensely! I have not had any lessons at this point in time, just tips from my Brother, my Mother-In-Law and a couple of friends. Other influences are the copious amounts of Art books I borrow from the local library, magazines and You Tube videos.

At some point I do intend having some official lessons but for the moment I am enjoying exploring, experimenting and having fun. Sometimes I try to paint from a reference photo and other times from my imagination. I think the latter is my favourite.

Oil painting has become another ‘escape’ for me, much like the other forms of communication found in this blog. It allows me to leave ‘reality’ and it refreshes me.

Sometimes, I can vividly see the scenes that I would like to create via painting, but my technical skill is a fair way behind where it needs to be to be able to replicate what I see in my mind. In time I hope it catches up! In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the place I am at and look forward to the journey of self-discovery and learning.

Here are a few examples of of my paintings thus far…

Written by David Johnson
30 August 2015

20150620-IMG_2356-1 20150620-IMG_2347-1 20150620-IMG_2346-1 20150620-IMG_2344-1