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In 2017 Brian and I were on a walk in our neighborhood when we came across an estate sale. We have always enjoyed browsing sales and antiques, so we decided to look around. We found a large stack of sheet music with about 50 different booklets comprised of hymns, holiday music, and classics. We imagined people gathering around the piano to sing and dance while someone joyfully played these songs. Many of them were dated between 1920-1940 but were in great shape and some even looked brand new. I grabbed the pile of music, unsure at that point what I would use them for, but I knew it would come to me. We paid our $3 for the sheet music and continued on our walk.
As we were walking home it hit me. At the time, my artwork with aspen trees had been very popular and I realized I could integrate the black and white music notes into the bark on the aspen trees. I have always loved layering and adding dimension to my work so this was right in line with my style. I couldn’t wait to get started!
At first, I felt guilty for cutting apart the sheet music, but I kept going. The pages weren't long enough so I began piecing them together to fit the size of the tree trunk. I covered the seams and added shading for extra dimension. Once the tree trunk was in place, I painted the branches and leaves. I just love the whimsical sense of movement the blowing leaves creates, it’s truly one of my favorite elements to paint.
Once I completed a few pieces we took them to art shows and customers loved them! People felt a connection to these pieces specifically because of the music note tree trunks - especially if music was a part of their life or if they had memories of playing the piano as a child. I no longer carried guilt for cutting apart the music because the pieces brought so much joy to our customers! As an artist, creating that connection and sparking positive memories means so much to me.