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Saturday, May 7, 2011

One Idea, Many Variations

How many variations can you put on a theme?

Turkish pianist Fazil Say shows us how Mozart, being both playful and naughty, took "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and did this:

Similarly, visual artist Pat Weaver has put more than two dozen twists on a single theme, a container of flowers.  Go HERE for a moment and take a look.  (Don't forget to come back.)

Just as composers like Mozart often elaborate on a simple tune, it's not unusual for a visual artist to explore a single idea in an array of works, each complete within itself, yet having its own unique take on the chosen theme.  One way to do this is to play with the color key like Pat Weaver has done.

Look at two of Pat's still life paintings:

Still life paintings by artist Pat Weaver
You can see that one of these painting's key registers on the warm side of the Color Wheel while the other falls in on the cool side.

But look what happens in this one:

Pat has used two keys in her pot of geraniums and with a sweet twist:  most of her green notes (green being on the cool side) are predominately a warm green whereas her red (red being warm) notes are on the cooler side of red.  

If you listen to all the spins Mozart put on "Twinkle, Twinkle..." you can hear how each dances around the tune, yet retains our recognition of it.  Pat Weaver's many variations on "flowers in a container" each carries a specific use of color giving it a singular interpretation and expression.

Each of these creators took a given and found multiple ways to expand it into something new and unique.

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