Visual artists listen to music in their studios to get their creative juices flowing, to lose themselves in their world, to focus their energies. Natalie Frank, a great young painter (a mere 27 years old!) let me into her listening process and her creative process in her studio. It turned out to be quite structured and complex and cool. She listens to blues and solo singers and songwriters – like John Lee Hooker, Dylan and Nina Simone – in the personal, imagination-trawling phase when she’s conjuring up the characters for her paintings. When she’s composing her paintings – thinking in the big picture sense – she listens to opera and classical music, like Beethoven’s “Kreuzer.” Music is an intricate and orchestrated part of her creative process.
Painting above by Natalie Frank, “Portrait,” 2007, Oil on canvas, 18 by 16 in. 45.7 by 40.6 cm.