So, Raymond Carver’s line from a poem and the title of one of his books came to me this morning – a new path to the waterfall – in the company of today’s bit of jazz advice. I subscribe to the jazz advice because I know that creativity overlaps one discipline with another and the jazz advice almost always gets my painting juices flowing. Today was no exception.
“Many musicians share a frustration and for many it goes right back to the standard approach to improvisation that you find in most books. The mentality that each chord has a designated scale:
- Major scales for major chords
- Dorian for minor chords
- Mixolydian for V7 chords
“This is a fine place to start, but if you limit your harmonic and melodic approach to these 3 scales you’ll end up feeling trapped inside of a musical box.”
The advice for musicians was about a lot of things I don’t understand as an aficionado (myxolydian scale?), but I do understand that quote as an artist. I don’t want to feel trapped inside an abstract box! My work with jazz paintings is far from finished. I still have things to learn about the paint, the tools, the light, the way I can play the same note in a series of paintings but differently each time. Bring it on!
The map of my cartographer’s heart feels exactly right for this next part of the journey. I will happily return to the studio on Monday with new eyes and new choices to make. I don’t expect to find a waterfall, but the new path will take me to the fresh start I need.