Calando, Cavatina, Crescendo

Why yes, I am mixing music and artwork in one post!  As promised months ago, I’ve finally begun to edit all the images from last year’s solo show that focused on recycled/repurposed art. Today I’m sharing the pieces I created with old piano parts.

The pieces on display during the show at ArtSplash gallery, June 2013.
The pieces on display during the show at ArtSplash gallery, June 2013.

First I’d like to thank my artist-friend Quincy Owens for sharing these parts with me after he had used most of the wood from a piano for an artistic project of his own. Thanks Q! Here is a look at the pieces and parts laid out, waiting for me to decide how to use them (along with a tub full that I have left for future projects).

I had these in the garage for several weeks, moving pieces about and generally tweaking things until I felt comfortable enough with the design to start the assembly. I raided my stash of vintage sheet music to use as a background, adhering it to the wood surface using a thin, clear acrylic with a tint of yellow ochre to giving it an even older, more weathered look.

Once on the wood I followed with several more coats of clear acrylic to seal it well and give it a lovely shine.  Then the power tools came out and the other objects were attached one by one.  The long bar across the top of the largest piece (Calando) is from inside the piano and the wires were at one time attached to each of the eyes that show along the top.

I actually ended up with a “less is more” approach with these pieces as I really wanted more of the background sheet music to show than my original plan. One part that I never varied on was the three foot pedals hanging from the bottom. Now to show you the images of each piece, once completed:

"Calando" mixed media on wood, 55x16", $995 © Lynne Medsker
“Calando” mixed media on wood, 55×16″, $995 © Lynne Medsker

The musical term Calando means “fading away music” which seemed so appropriate for this piece! Cavatina translates into “solo song” and, as most music fans know, Crescendo is described as “an increase in intensity”.

Currently these three pieces reside above the piano in my living room.

piano art installed

Can you picture them in your home?


Fruition, Finally

This piece has been “in progress” for a few months. I’m excited to finally share it with you!

"Fruition" Mixed Media Collage on Wood Panels, 26 x 20" $595 (c) Lynne Medsker
“Fruition” Mixed Media Collage on Wood Panels, 36 x 20″ $795 (c) Lynne Medsker

When I got the idea it took a bit of mulling around on exactly how I’d make it and then once underway it was a bit time consuming. The things we do for art! The first step was to create large pages of mandala-inspired art that would be painted and then torn apart.

Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker

I will admit to some mixed emotions about creating something just to tear it into pieces! Art from last year? Wouldn’t have slown me down a bit! While that was in stages of progress I designed the background from old pages of sheet music, watercolor paint and layer of thin paper to lay out a rough 2012-11-06 13.44.13-1

Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker

Then it was time to rip, tear and arrange the pieces! In addition to the mandala art that was used I also cut circles from some “not so successful” printmaking projects and added them for color and texture.

Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker

It seemed like a great idea but I ended up going a bit overboard. Ack! Color overload. And not very “tree like” either!

Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker

The first thing I did once it got to this stage was to paint a thin layer of irridesent white over the background to tone it down a bit (shown above after the background was painted). Then it sat for a while. And then it sat a bit longer. I wasn’t sure where to go with it at this point…I knew what I wanted, but that was about all. One day when I had a friend over to the studio we talked about it and bounced ideas back & forth and before she’d even left I was working away!

I have a fabulous stash of different kinds of paper…okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a paper-aholic! I love paper, thin, thick, solid colors, pattern, textures, flat…it doesn’t matter. So I dug into that and found the perfect piece. A nice brown  tree-ish color, very loosely woven with gaps and thin spots for the design underneath to peek through while it gave the piece the unity that I’d been looking for. Happiness!! The next steps were to add highlights, shadows and outlines for definition.

Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Fruition (c) Lynne Medsker

The finishing touches from this point didn’t take long at all, a little charcoal, a bit of acrylic ink and it was done. 🙂 I’ve got a few other pieces that are in progress right now but I’m also shifting focus to holiday projects and gifts so they are moving slow too. Lucky for you I’ve got a backlog of art that I haven’t written about yet. 🙂

Look for more soon!


My Blue Heaven

"My Blue Heaven" mixed media artwork on 33 1/3 album, $95 © Lynne Medsker

Earlier this week I posted about the last “Open Studio” class I held where we created artwork on old 33 1/3 albums. Since one of my students wasn’t able to attend I couldn’t resist joining in and playing a bit too. I’ve been playing with some other collage piece using old sheet music recently, so I decided to incorporate it into this artwork as well. It sure makes naming the piece easy when the music has a title! And it gave me some color inspiration as well. 🙂

work in progress © lynne medsker

This ended up having lots of cuts & layers of paper, followed by charcoal, more layers, acrylic ink and some embellishments. One of my students mentioned how it looked almost three-dimensional, that was all it took for me to make it that way! I’m not sure how well it showed up in the straight-on photo at the top of the page so I took a second one of the finished piece from the side to show the pieces that rise off of the background.

"My Blue Heaven" finished artwork, side view © Lynne Medsker

I enjoyed just making some art for the fun of it! I have a lot of fun projects I’d like to play with – along with some new commissions and artwork for upcoming shows. Trying to keep it balanced, along with the rest of life!


"Backbeat" mixed media on three 24x36" wood panels, $495 each/$1195 set © lynne medsker

It seems I’ve got a bit of a musical theme going on lately in my artwork! After creating “Music in Motion” my next project, shown above, was titled “Backbeat”. Created on three 24×36″ wood panels, it includes multiple layers of paper, paint and miscellaneous objects. I was blessed with a multi-day stretch of time to work on these pieces non-stop so it seemed like they came together quickly. I’m going to show several images of the pieces as they progressed so you can get an idea of the process:

panels, covered with papers & sheet music @ lynne medsker
sewing pattern added on top of paper layer © lynne medsker
beginning to add 1st layer of watercolor © lynne medsker
2nd full layer of watercolor © lynne medsker
3rd layer of watercolor © lynne medsker
all three panels with watercolor layers added © lynne medsker
adding circular design with charcoal © lynne medsker
close-up of detail painting © lynne medsker
acrylic detail painting finished © lynne medsker
detail painting finished on all three panels © lynne medsker

The last step was to add some dimensional pieces to each panel, all circular, using painted 33 1/3 albums & CD’s, 45 records and plexiglass pieces.

finished panel © lynne medsker

These pieces are currently on display at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg, Indiana – drop in a see them in person, photos don’t do them justice!

Commissioned Work: Music in Motion

"music in motion" mixed media commissioned artwork (shown installed) © lynne medsker

Created for a music room this piece was great fun to create! My client shared some guitar parts, picks, etc. and then just let me run away with it. Woo hoo! I began by putting a layer of sheet music all over the 36×24″ wood panel. That was followed by a layer of watercolor with strings, yarn and webbing stretched though it.

work in progress, music in motion © lynne medsker

Once that layer was dry the texture items were removed and the layer was sealed. On went more layers of water color until there was a nice colorful background to create the rest of the piece on.

work in progress, music in motion © lynne medsker

I added a wash of metallic paint for shimmer and some random white stripe-like areas and then it was time to really have some fun!

work in progress, music in motion © lynne medsker

Keeping in the theme of music I painted and assembled a 33 1/3 album, a 78 rpm album, a 45 record and a CD on a large bolt and attached a tuning knob to the top.

work in progress, music in motion © lynne medsker

Using washers and spacers between these pieces and the background allows it to be spun around by hand! Above that I attached guitar strings together and then curved them through the piece and attached them at different points to tuning keys.

work in progress, music in motion © lynne medsker

Some embellishments, including the guitar picks going down the right side, were added and it was done! The completed image (shown at the top of the page) was taken in my clients music room. It looks awesome against the burgundy colored wall!

Have you ever thoughts of commissioning a piece of work? It can be a fun & rewarding process and you’ll have something custom made for  your home or office and your own personal style. Here’s what Aaron & Amy said about creating this piece:

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate on an art piece with artist, Lynne Medsker. I described to Lynne that I was looking to have a piece to hang in the wall of my music room. I brought her some guitar pieces, (strings, tuner knobs, etc.) and we brainstormed on the colors and what to include in the art piece.

Lynne listened to my ideas and came up with something much better than I could have imagined! Her creativity is amazing and I love the picture she created. It is truly the most unique work of art I have ever owned!

If you are looking for something incredibly unique, beautiful and of great quality, I would definitely reccommend collaberating with or commissioning a piece by Lynne.
Thank you, Lynne!

So, what do you want to create?