Carly Swenson • Intuitive Artist

artistic themes IV: lyrical influence

Music & Lyrics:  Music is inspiring to me.  I have no singing ability.  I can’t play a musical instruments.  I had a brief stint on the recorder back in elementary school–but who counts that? I don’t. Because if memory serves with the exception of ‘Hot Cross Buns’ I was unremarkable at best. I also have minimal understanding of instrumental music and sheet music (I vaguely recall something about F-A-C-E?)

However, I love lyrics.  Something about the way people are able to make words fit to a moment and capture a thought or passing feeling.  A line from a song always tends to hit me at just the right moment, beautifully articulating what I failed to put into words.  I know that sounds a little cliché, but it’s completely true.  I’m not trying to illustrate lyrics, but instead use them as inspiration for the work–capturing relatable imagery, depicting a memory or moment of growth.

no. 90

Cried when she should and she laughed when she could
Well closer to god is the one who’s in love
And I walk away cause I can
Too many options may kill a man
Damien Rice, The Professor

Over and Over, 36 in x 36 in, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Over and Over, 36 in x 36 in, acrylic on canvas, 2014

I think I saw you reaching for a glass,
With your lanky white arms,
Nothing else moves that way, are you kidding me?
My head plays it over and over,
Don’t interrupt me.
–The National, All Dolled Up in Straps

death_low
What Death Will Leave Behind…, 24in x 36in, acrylic on canvas, 2015

We tread it carefully, we feel around in kid-gloves
What death will leave behind, death will leave behind love
We will flower again, I have surely seen it.
–Los Campesinos! What Death Leaves Behind

youmight_low
I thought you might…, acrylic on canvas, 2014

‘Cause I don’t stand a chance in these four walls.
And he don’t recognize me anymore.
Burned out flames should never re-ignite.
But I thought you might…
–Daughter, Home

reasons_low

reason_detail4
Detail image 4

With distorted reflections, it’s never the someone you’re hoping to recognize.
And the rent is too high living here between reasons to live
Where you can’t sleep alone, and your memories groan,
and the borders of night start to give.
–The Weakerthans, A New Name for Everything

no. 83

They sang ‘Love Is the Answer,’ and I think they’re probably right,
Let it shine down on us all; let it warm us from within. 
—The Hold SteadyWe Can Get Together

no. 34

I tell a joke that I’d like to meet them but they loathe me and I hate them back
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Fondness makes the absence longer
Length loses my interest, I’m a realist, I’m insatiable
Swapped counting days until I fly, with hours before your reply.
–Los Campesinos! We are beautiful, We are doomed

We were not the people we turned out to be...

I can be alone
I can watch a sunset on my own
Sitting in restaurants
Thought we were so grown up
But I know now that we were not the people
That we turned out to be
–Kate Nash, Merry Happy

no. 4: A heart will always go one step too far
no. 4: A heart will always go one step too far

Yes a heart will always go one step too far
Come the morning and the four corners I see
What the moral of the back story could be
Come with me, go places
–The New Pornographers, Go Places

8 Replies to “artistic themes IV: lyrical influence”

  1. Oh these are wonderful pages, you definitely have a gift for translating lyrics into images. Something I lack. If I had to choose a favourite, it would probably be Someday. Beautiful lyrics and the pages fit perfectly :)

    Like

  2. Definitely not too similar. Very inspirational and peaceful. I have a lot to say about music these days, so I want to write about it soon. And you’ve given me a few new songs to check out, which is a bonus.

    Like

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