I play music almost continuously while I paint - and I have very eclectic tastes ... from Bob Dylan (our new Nobel Laureate)... to Classical ... to Irish fiddly-dee (naturally) ... to Indie and Grunge! I draw a line at jazz - truly, a vexation to the spirit - to paraphrase Max Ehrmann's Desiderata
Currently, I'm listening to Damien Rice, soft and lyrical. And later I may turn to The Killers with a bit more rock and bounce.
But what difference might that choice make to whatever I'm painting? Will Damien make my marks longer and more languid; will the colours be more subtle or harmonious? Will Brandon Flowers make the strokes more jagged and the tones more extreme?
Of course when I am outside en plein aire painting, my earphones are rarely far away - but whatever I am listening to then is probably more about blocking out some of the sounds and noises going on around me. Then again, is that a good thing ... or should my painting there be influenced not by Dylan or Warren Zevon but by the chatter of people passing on the pavement, the squalk of seagulls overhead or the blare of car horns on the road?
Whatever the answer - and I'm not sure - I know that music is a wonderful accompaniment to my art. Maybe, whatever the genre, just having enjoyable, sumptuous, thoughtful music in the background helps my heart to slow and my mind to clear and makes painting even more enjoyable.
I'll stick with that.