Tori Amos, Cezanne’s The Black Clock, Rilke’s 16 shades of blue and Turning 50

This is one of those moments of serendipity.  I’ve been ruminating about how to approach a new series of paintings using color, the emotion of color and our relationship to color as the primary source material.  I’ve found myself reading up on the psychology of color, buying paint, collecting paint chips and indexing images, but hadn’t until today hit on something that stuck.  While wandering around online, I stumbled on the NPR story of Tori Amos (a fave 20 years ago when I lived in San Francisco) and her new album.  The featured song, 16 shades of blue, is a song written about aging (turning 50) and influenced by Cezanne’s The Black Clock and Rilke’s writings on Cezanne as expressed as the 16 shades of blue.  It is a marriage of ideas that is sure to inspire a series, Blue Musings is the working title.  The information below is a way for me to keep handy source material, words and thoughts.  It will all become part of my paintings, I’m sure.  I’m just so excited to wrap the concept up with another facet of Rilke, my muse.

From Tori Amos

For the first time, she found herself influenced by visual art, most notably Cezanne, who inspired 16 Shades of Blue after she had seen his painting The Black Clock. “Rhythms and music started happening in my head,” she nods. “Then I began reading that Rilke would say that he [Cezanne] would paint in at least 16 shades of blue at times. All of sudden, it just came together: a story about age, and what it means to turn different ages at different times. I was hearing from women about their different struggles with age, and quite frankly I wasn’t prepared for it. So as I was staring 50 straight in the eye, that then became the song.”  Read more.

Listen

16 Shades of Blue

are you telling me it’s over disintegrating lost and there’s nothing I can do before you drop another verbal bomb, can I arm myself with Cezanne’s 16 shades of blue as my heart is slowly ripping into pieces disconnecting from the circuits of my mind “you’ll get over it” you say “in time” in time? if the clocks are black absorbing everything but a remembering how we made it that clocks are black you say “get over it if 50 is the new black, hooray this could be your lucky day” but my cables they are surging almost over loading as you disengage could your heart be slowly ripping into pieces disconnecting from the circuits of your mind “we’ll get over it” you say “in time” in time? if the clocks are black absorbing everything but a remembering how we made it that clocks are black “that’s it you’re done. You’ve screwed up your life” before you’ve begun there are those who say I am now too old to play see over there at 33 she fears she’ll lose her job because they hear the ticking of her clock at only 15 I said 15, they say her future’s bleak she should have started this at 3 as her heart is slowly ripping into pieces disconnecting from the circuits of her mind “she’ll get over it” you say “in time” in time? stop Father Time   if the clocks are black absorbing everything but a remembering how we made it that how our clocks are black before you drop another verbal bomb can I arm myself with Cezanne’s 16 shades of blue