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Friday, May 13, 2016

Visual Review of Lee DeWyze's New Album "Oil & Water": Track 3- "Stone"

The 3rd Track on Lee DeWyze’s new album “Oil & Water” is  “Stone”.
****this post will just be Mare and myself, as Danielle was unavailable this week***
I have done a couple posts on this song in the past as well as art,  so I am pretty much going to revisit that post and discuss the AMAZING video Lee had made for this song.  Tell me this song does not give you goosebumps? Tell me this video is not amazing and represents the song perfectly….
See the video here: 
Lee is a phenomenal storyteller, his lyrics draw you in and make you relate to what he is saying. The thing that makes it so amazing is the way it is written and put together… you can interpret “Stone” in different ways and no matter which way you decide to hear it… it is just as powerful. To me, this song could be about someone giving up, coming to terms with something and submitting with what will be, or overcoming an internal issue…. But either way… the drumroll in the distance makes you feel like it’s done with integrity. That might not make sense to you, but in my head it makes perfect sense. It’s a beautiful song whether you hear it as triumphant or melancholy …. That being said, the casting for that video was brilliant and spot on! 
As for the art , I had created this art after first hearing the song live. My visual went directly to Lee sitting by the river with his thought laying heavy on his mind, throwing that stone:

 Now, we’ve talked about the circle of inspiration when it comes to Lee’s music, art…writing…covers, etc.
Here is a prime example of that, which is actually perfect timing as I am currently in a creative funk.
To quote my original post, : With Lee being my muse; 99.9% of  my art is a collaborative effort. Obviously he & I don't actually work together...but he creates stories that inspire me to bring them to life....that's collaborating, right? I hate to word it this way, but it is true, I NEED his music to create. I honestly have no desire to create art without it.
There are times when he is too busy or wants to just chill and can't keep up on social media. I don't blame him, but selfishly I must say...those times hit me hard. I mean, he IS my sole source for inspiration so when I hear nothing... I get unmotivated and uninspired. I do wish I didn't need him in order to create...but sadly, I do.  That has to speak volumes to just how powerful his music is…. It takes an amazing songwriter to have that power over people……” Mare knows this about me , I get really down when I cannot create, so after listening to Stone one day, she pictured a “continuation” of the song and wrote a response to it. It was brilliant. As she was writing this “response” she pictured me laying down stream by the river waiting for that inspiration he threw into the river to reach me. (the art is made to look like both scene were ripped and placed together, so technical I guess I was across the river)
 I love it with all my heart, I drew that exact scene and then THIS was born:

“Downstream in the silence feeling lost & alone, Hand brushing the water with nothing to hold. Blank canvas before her awaiting a stone”
This is EXACTLY how I feel… it is brilliant.
The Power of music amazes me and makes me happy.
Here is Mare’s view: 

In Stone, I think what started off as a song about a career turned into a song about life in general…. again, that’s brilliant songwriting. For me, there could be an underlying tone of sadness, but it mostly makes me think about life and choosing to live it. Hope and acceptance. Each one of us has a stone… our life. Time is like a river, always moving ahead. Within that river, dynamics change all the time. We all have a choice…. to hold on to our stones, always waiting for the right moment to cast it while the river keeps passing us by… or throwing it in the river and actually living. It’s a decision we all have to make. Things happen and sometimes people get “stuck” on that rivers edge. To throw your stone, you have to let go of the past, things that may haunt you, fears and/or regrets you may have…. accept them, be at peace with them.. and throw your Stone.  “Lay my body down”….. to me, that’s what this song is about…. I accept what was, what is and what will be, and no matter what, it will all be ok. It’s a release in a way, and in that release, there is acceptance….hope…. and life.

Of all the songs on Oil & Water, the lyrics to Stone are some of the most visual for me. With that said, the music behind the lyrics seem to be one of, if not THE most important on this album and is almost visual on its own. Building from soft acoustic to harmonies and drums, the music itself tells a story for me in Stone. That’s where I see someone going from walking and thinking, trying to decide…. to making that decision, marching to the river and finally casting that Stone. The official video for Stone is actually brilliant by the way… but is also where I’d rather have people completley interpret it in their own way.

For Jenns art…. I remember this day specifically. The creative life isn’t an easy one. There is a NEED to create something you feel, and not just anything will do…. Because as an artist (of any kind), what you create HAS to come from your heart to mean anything. Creating is an outlet and release for the artist (there’s that word again….) and it’s not easy because sometimes everything you feel gets stuck. Inspiration is required, it’s NEEDED for an honest creation that lets the artist feel and release… and it doesn’t just come from anywhere, or when you want it to. The music and everything that surrounds it are what inspire her…. and that inspiration doesn’t come from thoughts, but from her heart… from a feeling. She can’t force it and sometimes, she just has to wait for that feeling to come… and needing that release, it can be hard to wait. The art shows that…. she’s waiting for that inspiration to flow down to her… but for it to get to her, Lee has to cast his stone…. -Mare 

We hope you enjoyed this post!!!! stay tuned for " Learn to Fall" 
Have a great weekend!!!! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Oil & Water" visual Review: track #2 "Oil & Water"

Track #2 : Oil & Water , By Lee DeWyze


I think there is a reason this is the title track. Before I get into the art that was inspired by this song… I’d like to talk about the song itself.


“Oil & Water” is automatically one of my favorites because even though  I am more of a lyrical person; It’s the music that pulls me in right away.  It’s quite possibly one of the most soothing melodies I have ever heard. Doesn’t it make you close your eyes and just...sway in contentment? Just like the rest of the album, this song is a prime example of how Lee masters the craft of songwriting. Have you ever listened to a song  where the lyrics were so vivid that it makes you feel like you lived through it yourself? That is what happens to me every single time Lee sings, which is why it is so easy for me to be inspired by him. His lyrics already paint the picture... THAT is what makes him such an amazing songwriter. He pours his heart into his songs and just knows what to say to capture that experience and emotion… then make you feel it too. He is Brilliant. I could go on and on…


I guess you want to see the art now, huh? My original plan for this piece was to actually use oil & water to paint it. I saw an amazing youtube video on how to mix watercolors and oil and how their seperation creates art on it’s own… Turns out, it was not as easy as I thought…. I got this….

…. It has grease marks….

Luckily I had a plan B.

I love the way watercolors bleed into each other 

and although it’s the exact opposite of oil & water….It worked well because it also represents hope that  those two things he loves so much, could someday come together…. So I made the background of the piece bleed together with colors to copy sun set AND sun rise to take you both  from “Cause I’ll be gone in the morning light” to  “every time the sun goes down…”…


For the actual focal point, I did a continuous line drawing of him putting his gear into a taxi yet again… leaving one love for another….

I also had an idea of having Jonna’s hand holding that string that  formed the lyric and image, however that looked better in my mind than on the paper. I am extremely happy with this one... It's simple & to the point....I hope you love it as much as I do!!! 


Here’s is Mare’s point of view……

“Gotta separate what I want and what needs to be done….” Oil and water… They never mix together to become one thing, but you can combine them and somehow they live side by side. Lee is talking about the two things he loves most in his life: being home with family, and being on the road sharing his music…. and the struggle of not being able to do both at the same time. Oil and water. As a human being, I love and understand the lyrics of this song because I have had those feelings about parts of my life many times. As a fan, it’s hard to hear the lyrics because I don’t ever want “the road” to be something that “has” to be done..I don’t ever want sharing music to be a difficult thing for him, because the music means SO much to me. See? I have an oil and water reaction to this song. Lee is a brilliant songwriter, which means his words and the melodies he puts those words with can mean so many different things to different people... make them feel so many different things. In a broader and more personal way for me, this song makes me think about two different areas in my own life. The way we love the people in our lives and how we go about that. We all show love differently…. sometimes those ways mix well…. and sometimes… they don’t. I also think about head versus heart. This is a BIG struggle in my own life… and they are ALWAYS like oil and water. 

Jenn drew the exact oil and water moment…the moment when Lee is leaving one thing he loves for the other. I love two specific details about this art besides capturing the exact moment when you try to mix two loves…. She made this a continuous line drawing. If you think about it, this music life he leads is like that. There is no beginning or ending to all the feelings that surround what went into this song. As long as he keeps making music, it will always be that way. Jenn also used part of the lyrics, to create the look of sunrise and sunset (which happen to be my favorite times of the day) to build from the continuous line drawing.... An endless amount of time and part of the idea of a continuous line.... because as always, she is magic. Because the details matter when you care so much about the music… when you are making the music... And when you are making that music visual.

And here is Danielle's view point. In Her case this time, the art was TOO simple to write to on it's own, so she did listen to the song first: 

"When I first listen to Oil And Water, it makes me think about someone being confused. He has to "do what needs to be done", and he THOUGHT he knew what he wanted, but at the same time, he regrets the strain it puts on the important parts of the life he wants to create. It's like having a conflict between two important parts of his life and they don't mix well together. When I see the art, it makes me feel like he is leaving the world he created for a repetitive necessity. A heavy feeling he feels over and over again. " - Danielle 

Stayed tuned for our next post for track 3: "Stone"..... 

Until then, you can hear "Oil & Water" here: http://youtu.be/2rLLMCRpdMI 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Oil & Water" Track #1: "Again"


There are not enough words in the English language to describe how much I love Lee DeWyze’s new album “Oil & Water”.

It’s one of those albums that play your heart strings from the beginning to the end with his soulful voice, honest lyrics and beautifully arranged melodies and harmonies.  Having followed Lee through his musical journey, I am so proud of him and this album. This album is just...HIM. 


I will try my hardest to limit each post to the chosen track because I can easily get distracted and go on and on about how much I love this album, SO….. Let’s talk about “Again” :


Track #1 on the album is “Again”;  At first listen to the lyrics, the story it tells is pretty obvious in my opinion, which is a hauntingly beautiful ode to the excitement and relief you feel when it’s time to go home.

 You know that feeling… you can be on the most amazing vacation or journey, but that last night, no matter how great of a time you had… you are excited to go home.

That is basically what this song makes me feel, but on a much deeper level. Not current home… but from the very first time I heard Lee sing this song live, It made me think of my childhood home. The two lyrics that pull me in are “Feels like home again” and “for a while, just a while let me feel at home again”

This explanation could also easily become a book, so I will give you the cliff notes version for those that are new here and do not know me. I was raised by my grandmother, she was my best friend and my childhood home has always been a sacred place to me. I felt safe there, it was my happy place and just the thought of walking through that door again feels like a giant warm comforting blanket wrapping around me.  I have explained many times that although I have a wonderful, happy life as an adult; that "home"feeling of your childhood is much different. It's the comfort you had before you had a job,before kids, before being an adult and having everyday work stress, before falling in love...it's a different feeling… 

There was nothing that had the same effect on me until Lee’s music. His voice and songs give me almost the exact same feeling…. Especially when it inspires me to create.

This is why the image that immediately came to me when hearing this song, is that very same house……


 It wasn’t a fancy house by any means…. It was a small ranch home that was built by my grandfather, doing his best to give my grandmother the old stone barn look she dreamed of. That was the place I felt the most loved “…For a while, for a while… Let me feel at home again….”  Sometimes the “home” feeling and the feelings the music gives me are so similar, that it overflows into my dreams. I have had more than a few dreams where I was showing Lee around that house…. Telling him all the stories and all the things that make it so special. ….. 


Now I will be tagging Mare in to talk about how the art and the song make her feel…….


 "When I listen to  Lee’s song “Again”, I picture someone sitting alone, lost in their thoughts, just trying to hang on. The guitar melody is what over-thinking and hanging on sound like to me…. He leaves it simple, letting the feeling of what those thoughts are come through as he thinks about them over and over “again”. His voice seems resigned with an echo of loneliness…. while the lyrics, his thoughts, are of a memory of where he feels most at peace, and desperately wanting to feel that again…. to breathe again. Even for just a moment.

Again. It means one more time. Whatever it may be, you want “it” again because of how it made you feel. A person, a place, a song…. a memory of something that takes you back in time. “I want to see you again.”…. “I want to be there again.”……. “I want to listen again.”….. “I want to feel that again.” It’s that one place that gives you peace, a connection, where you feel like you can be yourself. Where you are FOUND and where you are “home”. For Jenn, it is her grandmothers house, and that’s where this song takes her. Life is meant to be lived and we feel the ups and downs along the way. In that journey, we all have something that we hold on to that connects us to who we are, and when we remember it, when we think about it and when we feel it….it lets us feel at peace again…. one more time."- Mare 

Now, here is Danielle's take on the art alone: 

"This house makes me feel many different emotions. Currently, I feel sad because I miss this house. I miss the feelings associated with the house. It's not the house in it's physical sense. After all..a house is just a house. It's the people and the love that make it a home. 

Growing up, this house was my safe haven. I don't want to get too deep so I'll just say that this house was the ONLY place I felt safe as a child. 

This house gave me the love I craved. All of my happiest memories as a child occured within those walls. I knew in that house that I could be myself. That no one would judge me there (except maybe my sister...but hey what are sisters for right. Haha). No criticism zone...pure and true encouragement only.

 My heart aches to feel the warmth of that home, even if for just one more moment. " ..... And here are her thoughts after finally hearing the song: 
" While listening to "Again", I remembered a dream I had about the house, mom-mom and pop-pop.

 During the dream I was so incredibly happy but I had this sense that it would soon turn to grief as I knew in my heart that the moment would not last. In my dream I had no clue that they, like the house were now just memories etched on my soul forever; but I sensed it somehow. 

When I woke I felt sad but content. Sad for the obvious...I miss them terribly. Content because just for that brief moment in my subconscious...I was home again. I was in a place with people that truly embraced what a home is. The song, "Again" made me want to smile while crying." -Danielle 

So you see? the music...inspiring the art....making people understand both desperately then what they mean together.... That is why I do this! Hope you enjoyed our visual review of "Again" 

Click here to hear "Again" : http://youtu.be/h5Mqh79DQro

Then go on ITunes or Amazon & buy the album!!!!

Stay tuned for Track 2, which happens to be the title track "Oil & Water" 


Ps... Please share...RT... Then share again :-) 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SOON.... It's coming.....

Back in August of 2013;  Lee DeWyze released his album “Frames “  and along with the help of one of my best friends and my sister… we created a Visual review of the album.

I have yet to see this done by any other artist for any other musician. For those of you that do not know me, My name is Jenn Harding and I am an artist. About 99.9% of my work has been inspired by the music and lyrics of Lee DeWyze. 

Back in 2013, I did a Visual review of “Frames” A track by track  visual journey of how each song made me feel, why I chose the image I did to represent that song, etc.

To take it to the next level and show you just how powerful music and art are when they come together, My friend Mare also contributed using her knowledge of Lee’s music and my art and how the two together make her feel. 

Then as an added bonus…. I introduced my sister, Danielle.  She writes about the art and how it makes her feel before she hears the song for the first time….. It is an amazing experience to hear how everyone has different takes on the songs, the art and then the two of them together… 

 The world is filled with music lovers that are not necessarily exposed to the art world and vice versa…. This format;  a visual  review; not  only exposed both art and music fans to the other… but explains how they can come together to create a whole new experience. …. 

 Within the next few weeks; Mare, Danielle and myself will be posting each track on Lee’s newest album “Oil & Water”, which was released in February of this year. It is 10 songs of perfection and I have art for all tracks. 


Hopefully as soon as Monday or Tuesday of next week, we will have our first post up for Track 1, “Again”

So stay tuned and spread the word!!!!! We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback as we go track by track through this hauntingly beautiful album!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

I'm back!!!!!!

Hey everyone… I am back! 
Sorry for the long break, I was sick for two weeks and before that I had a bit of a creative block. Trust me, I did not understand why… Lee has released this AMAZING album, “Oil & Water” … 10 songs of perfection. So it has nothing to do with lack of inspiration. 

I can not explain it, I just could not get to that creative place….but now I have. 
As I laid on the sofa feeling like I was on my deathbed last week… All I wanted to do was sketch. For some reason, I just felt that I couldn’t. It was as if I just lost my ability. I sat up with all my previous sketchbooks open, paging through each one, sketch by sketch ,but it just left me kind of depressed. Then I thought of something. This last book, the one I was so excited to start…the one that I had such big plans for…. Hardly had any sketches in it and the ones that were there- didn’t give me the satifsfaction past sketches had. They are in no way my best work. I’ve decided the vibe of this book was just not right, so I will not be touching it again. I will buy a new one. I do not need bad juju. I mean, not all were bad… I just did not feel they represented just how much the music means to me. I will let you decide…. 

I was at work today, listening to “Oil & Water” as I have been every other day, but today was different. Today is the first time in a long time where I felt like myself. As each track played, I had to stop what I was doing to write my sketch ideas. Post-it’s everywhere….. putting my chaotic thoughts down on paper has always been my first step….. I missed that.  I wish there was a way to describe that feeling so you’d understand. 
I have been discussing my work and inspirations with another local artist…. A well respected fine artist. I am not going to go into that right now as I have exciting plans…. But I will say that after he heard about it, seen samples of my work and heard how it’s influenced by Lee’s music… he said “You are certainly inspired and that is rare”  for as simple the statement… it makes me pretty happy. As for my plans…. It is in the beginning researching stages, so I am not ready to discuss… but I am pretty excited about it. (no need to ask, I will not elaborate since it's something that might not even happen.... Just thoughts for now) 

In keeping with tradition, I plan on doing another Visual Review of Lee DeWyze’s new album “Oil & Water”… track by track the way I did with “Frames”. 
In case you were not aware or do not remember… I will be writing up my thoughts on each track along with the sketch that that song inspired. I’ll tell you how the song inspired me to do that particular visual. Then Mare, being a Lee Fan knowing the music as well will write about her take on the song and if she can see where I got that visual. Then finally, my sister, Danielle will be kept in the dark from the music until AFTER she has seen the art. With her not listening to the songs yet…. She will write about what the ART makes her feel before even hearing the song. THEN she will hear the song to see if she was able to get a feel for Lee’s story by my visual. 
I am pretty excited…I hope you are too! 

It is great to be back....stay tuned.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Check it out!!!! Exciting!!!

Hello everyone! 
So I am back with some exciting news to help spread love for Lee DeWyze! 
We all know I paint and sketch my art which is all 100% inspired by Lee DeWyze’s music, lyrics and voice. What you do not get to see, is that there are other dedicated fans that feel the same way about his music as I do! Some also draw, but some write poems, short stories, do music covers… the list is endless. He inspires people in so many ways! I thought it would be nice to have one place to put all of these creations. after brainstorming with Mare, I have created an Instagram Account called “A_Musical_muse_collab” 
This will be an account where all things Lee Dewyze inspired can be posted! One place where we can see that this music touches other people the way it touches us! One place that Lee can go to see what everyone is working on. 
How do you get your creations posted for us all to see? 
  1. Go to Instagram and Follow the account. I will make sure you are followed back

  1. Send a private message with a picture of what you’d like to post and a brief description. Since this is Instagram,. Please make sure it can be seen by a screen shot! 
  2. I will post it, tag you as the creator and do an explanation of what it is. 
I can't wait to see what you share!!! If you send a video, I have to figure out how to re-post that, so please be patient! 

Only positive work will be shared! :-) 

Friday, January 22, 2016

NEW Lee DeWyze music means NEW art

I'm back!!!!!!!!! 
I apologize for the long break, but I'm back because Lee's new album "Oil & Water" will be released 2/12/16!!!!! 
If you head over to iTunes now you can preorder & sample the tracks! Oil & Water by Lee DeWyze

I did, and you know what? It's beyond amazing and even though they are short previews, it was enough to spark my imagination & bring them to life. 
Also with a little help of the brilliant album cover art. You all know I love optical illusion art! I've only tried skull illusions, this time I tried it with a tree (wink) 

So that being said, the song that got my mind racing? Track #6 : 

"Same for you" 

".....I'll help you if you help me...won't you meet me down river by the old oak tree.... Gotta let me whisper in your ear I can't shout loud so you'll have to come near..." 

What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with it. 
Thank you Lee DeWyze for creating hauntingly beautiful music that enchants my mind and makes me create. It's my happy place and I missed it here.