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Saturday, October 26, 2013

1 of 3: Danielle's final thoughts on this Visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames"

You ever truly believe that you know someone in and out, from top to bottom, at his or her worst and best? Then out of the blue you realize you were completely wrong? Yeah me too but that's not my point. Ha ha 
 My point is that I thought my sister and I were and have always been completely different, but after this project I found out; with much enthusiasm, that we are alike in many ways. More ways maybe than we realize.
 Like you, I've read my sister's influences and feelings behind her art. I've read Mare's point of view (I must say she painted us a picture with her words alone) and then I listen to the songs associated with the paintings. I'm amazed by how each of us begin with the same notions and emotional feelings. 
 The magic that art and music can make together is mesmerizing. It connects people that are otherwise miles apart! Seeing the paintings before discovering the songs gave me this little niche to rest in while listening to Lee put his heart right out there with no doubts or regrets. Who would've know my opinion would lead me down a journey of discovery? 

-Danielle Mazzo 

Friday, October 25, 2013

2 of 3: Mare's Final thoughts on Lee DeWyze's album "Frames"

When Jenn first mentioned doing the blog together, with me writing my thoughts on the art and music, my initial reaction was..... no. What if what I write is “wrong”? What if what I write “boxes in” the music and the art? What if it has a negative impact in any way? My self doubts then turned to self-consciousness... I was uncomfortable letting the world know how the art and music make me feel and what I think about, and then beyond that.... people don’t really care about my thoughts and feelings... interpretation of art and music is an individualistic thing. It’s personal. I felt that way through the entire process...until I sat down to write the ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ post. When you immerse yourself in music and art, and the deep down thoughts and feelings they bring about, they open up a different world or way of thinking. That’s the brilliance behind the music and the art. It was never really about anything I thought or felt. It was about the bigger picture....what music and art can do for everyone when you find that connection. When you find people that can speak to your past, present and future, your heart and soul, and open you up to new ways of thinking, imagining, feeling...or things you’ve buried...and they do itwithout speaking....that’s where the magic lies. When they allow you the freedom to explore yourself and maybe find little pieces of yourself that you didn’t know existed. Living within the brushstrokes, lyrics and notes of the story of Frames, I learned about opening up my own heart and soul (which Lee and Jenn have to do every time they create something) and trusting enough to put it out there for other people. Not in fear of judgement so much as just letting people in. What I’ve had to say doesn’t really matter.... it’s always been about the circle of inspiration. At the beginning of all of this, I had said: “When you really listen to a song that affects you, it becomes more than notes and words. It takes on a life of it’s own.” Music creates images for all of us, it takes us somewhere else, it becomes our own story....and it inspires us. I was lucky enough to be a part of putting a story together....

Frames took me through so many thoughts and feelings, not just in my mind or heart, but ALL of me. I could feel every song....and then see every song. If I had to sum up each song with one word:

Fight: .......Persistence

Fire Away: ......Determination

Silver Lining: ........Hope

Frames: ...... Reflection

Like I Do: .......Memories

Open Your Eyes: ......Trust

You Don’t Know Me: .......Closure

The Ride: .........Clarity

Don’t Be Afraid: ........Vulnerability

Stay Away: .........Forbidden

Little Did I Know: .........Deception

Who Would’ve Known: .......Love

Breathing In: .........Life

13 visuals..... 13 pictures that create a snapshot of the thoughts, feelings and images one may get when listening to the album ‘Frames’. A visual explanation when words become too overwhelming. A brief glimpse of what music canlook like. A reminder that music is more than lyrics, notes and beats... it has texture, a vibe...it’s physical. The art is a place within the music.

13 songs.... well, technically 26. There are 2 versions of each song; the acoustic versions and studio versions. Being the brilliant artist that Lee is, depending on which version of a song I listen to, I feel different things. Hearing the same words, but running through different emotions based on the notes and beats behind those words. That speaks to how genius, and how authentic the song writing is. It comes from an honest place where he wasn’t afraid to let you see inside his heart, mind and soul. It allows the listener IN by creating music that is true to who he is. It took time to really reach down into the depths of who he is and pull all of these feelings out of his heart and soul and put them to notes...and I’m so glad it did. It’s the definition ofintegrity when making music. Each song takes you through an individual story, and when listened to in its entirety, Frames creates a world we’ve all been in, feelings we’ve all had. It’s a reminder to me that I’m not alone. There are dark times, happy moments, beginnings and endings.... and in between all of them....it’s the moments, the ‘frames’  that capture and define who we are.....

Personal Thoughts

Some of my favorite songs from Frames, ones that personally speak to who I am the most, have yet to be painted. My hope is that I’ve done both the music and art at least some justice on these pages. Hopefully, somewhere out there, someone looks at the art, listens to the music and has a better understanding of one or both, or at least another viewpoint to consider. 

Lee’s music has always spoken to me... on so many levels. Sometimes it tells my story and sometimes it gives me the words to what I’m feeling when I can’t find the words myself. Sometimes it’s my escape from the world and sometimes it’s my inspiration to do more in the world. What it alwaysis.... is something I can turn to no matter what I’m feeling. THAT is what true, honest, real music is. The difference for me between his music and anyone else’s is the place it comes from and the impact that has on what he creates with lyrics and notes. There is a depth to his music that lies between each note and within each word.... it’s why he can take one song and craft it a dozen different ways... it comes from knowing who he is both as a musician and as a person. His determination and conviction to stay true to that, even through difficulties, struggles, doubt and temptation in that business and in the world... has gotten us all here. To a place of genuine music.

Jenn-- When we started talking about the original art for The Ride and the blog post, I had NO idea it would turn into such an amazing journey. It has meant the world to me... to be trusted enough to put my words with something so close to your heart. I’ve found an amazing friend in this process and through that friendship, your consistent encouragement and your amazing art... I’ve found a little more of myself. Thank you for helping me break down some walls, for giving me an even bigger appreciation of art and for opening up the world of writing for me again. 

No matter where I go from here, I will take this journey and this music with me.... ALWAYS.

3 of 3: MY final thoughts on the visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames"

Hello! There is no better time than this exact moment to do this “Frames” review because today, I just felt extra connected to the music. 

Taking my art out of the equation for a second: One of my favorite writers out there, Sarah May Bates once wrote “There is nothing more attractive and enchanting than Authenticity” and you know what, she is right. There is nothing more beautiful and enchanting than authenticity and that is exactly what Lee DeWyze and his music is. You can sit there and compare him to bands like Mumford and sons but why, because they both have banjos? There is nothing out there exactly like Lee DeWyze and with “Frames” he proves that. Every single song is majestic, heart-stirring and awe-inspiring.
 You know you are amazing at what you do when your abilities shed light on the abilities inside of others... that other being me in this case, obviously.  Thank you Lee, from the bottom of my heart for this breathtaking album. As a fan, I am so proud of you. I am proud of you for sticking to what you believe in and not conforming to anyone else’s vision of what kind of artist you should be. I have never had so much respect for a person in my life. You inspire me, not only as an artist...but as a person. For the first time in a REALLY long time, I feel like me... I feel like people “get it” and that is an amazing feeling, and it's all because of your words & talent. Thank YOU. You were born to do this, please don't ever stop & never let the fame change you. Your mind, lyrics, melodies and soul are sheer perfection... Yet you are the most humble and down to earth person I have ever met. Your voice is like my security blanket...thank you for always being there for me with your music. "Frames" is stunning...every single track.... I absolutely love it.  

I loved every second of creating this art and I can not wait to finish the remaining songs. As you all know, I live a very busy life. With all of our traveling, I might as well be a rockstar myself. I usually forget to take time for me...having this music awaken my need to create reminds me that I need that time for myself.... To do what makes MY soul happy. I do not create my art for attention. I do not create my art for money-they will never be for sale. I create SOLELY for having the outlet to get out all these overwhelming emotions and visuals I get when listening to this music, and I get that added pleasure of knowing that people get it. They enjoy it and hopefully Lee gets it. **Warning, this is about to get incredibly real, but cheesy**...
I truly believe that I was fated to find this music and to bring it to life. I don’t listen to a song and ask myself “what can I paint that goes with this song”... I just “Feel” it and there is really no way to explain it exactly. I know I keep saying that, but it's important to me to get that point across... That this is real and I'm not just playing a part. Each song hits me like a vision. You know really, a “heavy heart” is a feeling of unhappiness according to the dictionary... however the feeling I get when I listen to this man’s voice feels like my heart is actually filling up until it’s heavy... if that makes sense... which is the exact opposite of unhappiness. It’s a confounding flood of happiness like my heart is going to burst. That is really hard to explain without sounding crazy. I, myself think it sounds crazy... So there ya go. lol, I warned you.. It sounds cheesy and there are no words to exactly describe it, but I'm doing my best. 

I’d also like to thank Mare and my sister. 

I have had many great friends come into my life at different crossroads. I have met SO MANY amazing people through this journey with my art and Lee’s music, But you truly get me. My art is inspired by Lee’s music.... the best way to describe this is...picture a huge, beautiful perfect bonfire. This bonfire burns bright; creating beautiful & comforting warm flames- this represents my inspiration from Lee and his music. 
When you started telling me how YOU felt about my art and how connected you felt it was to the music.... picture throwing a little gasoline on that fire.. making it brighter and twice as powerful... that is how YOU have effected my inspiration. Thank you. I love your way with words... I love how you can take the words of my favorite songwriter, add your thoughts of my interpretation of those songs... and create an even bigger picture. You are turning this beautiful illustrated story into a novel. You really should write a book. You are an amazing writer and an even more amazing person. I know you like to not put so much of yourself out there for the world, so I feel lucky that you opened up to me the way you did. I think it was also fated that we met as well. Thank you for doing this review with me... If I just wrote it alone... it wouldn’t have been nearly as special. Thank you so much. Thank you for listening to my ideas, encouraging them and  even being there for me when I needed to vent about an awful & stressful day. 


“Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.  ~Margaret Mead”

You and I have come a LONG way in our relationship and have been through so much...experiencing things that most kids shouldn’t have to...but I think we turned out pretty damn good. ... Don't you think? We weren't raised by a family that hugged or said I love you on a daily basis... But I can say that although we were always divided into different worlds... I couldn't have asked for a better sister . 

Thank YOU for being apart of this project with me. I loved being able to connect with you over something this special and important to me. Thank you for listening to me gush for hours over Lee’s music and listening to me talk about my paintings while on the treadmill. Instead of making fun of me and telling me I am completely nuts..... you seem to get it. You know that there is no way I can fake the excitement I get when talking about something I believe in this much.
Thank you for ATTEMPTING to help me build my own frames for the art.... we worked the saw and we still have all our fingers... “Yah!”  and most of all, Thank you for not getting mad at me when I had to send you 100 texts a day asking when you’d be finished with your write ups. LOL. Although we are polar opposites.... you are the one person on this Earth that knows all the things that make me... ME...
I am truly proud of you for the woman that you grew up to be. You are an amazing mother, you work hard and you are always out there looking to be better. I’m proud to have you as my little sister. I love you! thank you again. 

I also want to thank all of the wonderful friends I have made and the entire “FamiLEE” ..... I’m truly blessed to be apart of such an amazing fandom. Yes, there is the occasional drama... and the divide amongst groups.. but that is what makes it real... like a REAL family.... Not everyone is going to have the same thoughts on everything, or like what the other has to say all the time. But you know what? It’s the love we have for Lee and he music that keeps us there... we are all there for the same purpose... to help show the the rest of world the part of Lee that we already saw.... Thank you for encouraging me... Re-tweeting my art and all the sweet comments. I didn’t grow up in a conventional family... but you all make me feel loved, make me smile when I need it and I love you all also! :-) 

Thank you! 
- Jenn

A visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames": track #13 "Breathing In"

We have made it to the last track on “Frames”… This is going to again be just me as all I have for “Breathing in” is a sketch and a million more images floating in this brain of mine. I’m gonna share something with you that most artists don’t. I am going to give you a glimpse into my sketchbook and the initial process of how I get to the canvas. What you usually see if just the first initial sketch on the canvas, or the finished product… but what you don’t see it the chaotic mess of doodles that come first. That is how I work.
But first, I’m going to give you this link to check out. I usually try to give you the most current version of the songs, but when I think of “Breathing In”, I think of the very first time Lee shared this song with us via video. It didn’t even have a title yet, but to this day, it’s one of my favorite videos ever posted. It’s just him, in his element, opening up to us when he is in HIS happy place…. In the middle of creating this beautiful song. I love everything about this video. This song to me is comforting, beautiful and just instantly changes my mood. All the versions have that effect on me…. But this one…. There are just no words. I can’t even stop smiling long enough describe it for you… so jus watch it here (and be prepared to not do anything else the rest of the day because you WILL get lost…trust me) : 
A sketch book to an artist is pretty much a diary. I carry my book with me now because you never know when the perfect image will pop into your mind. If you just picked up my book and looked at it, you’d be like she is an artist, really? Lol. That actually happened a few months ago at the BMX track. I was sketching up ideas and a 10 year old walked over, nodded and said “whatcha do’in? Writing in a diary or something?”
When I told him it was a sketch book he immediately wanted to see, so I showed him. He was quiet at first just looking up at me in confusion, and then said, “Um, I can draw way better than this...” LOL, ouch! Damn kids are honest….
I showed him pictures of what those doodles turned into and that shut him up… LOL….
So….. I am going to show you thise secret pages for my “Breathing In” ideas… I basically do stick figure-like drawings just to remind me of where I want something and write down all my thoughts or key words I want to focus on…

I’ll also tell you a secret…for the actually painting… I have a completely different visual that I’m pretty sure I’m gonna go with (wink) , but at least you get to see this side of art… it’s the completely stripped down naked version of the actual art.. the soul if you will… the messy, chaotic jumble of thoughts that happen when I listen to Lee’s voice and words… it really is my happy place and it’s extremely easy to get lost in there.
I truly hope you enjoyed this visual review of Lee DeWyze’s new Album “Frames”….
Stay tuned because we are not totally done... Mare, Danielle and I have more to say about this album as a whole and this whole experience. Also, as the songs that are only living in my mind and sketchbook come to life, I’ll be posting! 
Stay tuned for our Final thoughts...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames" , track #12 "Who would've known"

This one is pretty simple. Nothing to interpret, nothing to read into......

This painting is more like a gift to Lee DeWyze.  “Who would’ve known” is the song That Lee wrote for his wife, Jonna Walsh and is the song she walked down the isle to. Something that personal to someone shouldn’t be “interpreted” by anyone else... period. So you will find that none us of will have a long story about it. :-)  A wedding song is sacred to a couple...so really, what is there for us to write about?

The story of “Who would’ve known” is a lot like almost everyone’s story of falling in love, creating a life together and even includes those scary moments when you ask yourself, “are you ready for this?” We have all been there.
Your wedding day is one of the happiest days of your life, but also a little bit scary- but those fears quickly fade, making way to the beauty and excitement of that day. 

For this painting, I decided to makes this one exactly what is was intended for, Lee & Jonna’s big day. My source of inspiration came from one of their actual wedding Photos, taken by Marianne Wilson. You can see the rest of her gorgeous photos here: http://www.mariannewilsonblog.com/maravilla-gardens-wedding-photography-jonna-lee-wedding-photos/

Instead of just painting a portion of one of their wedding photos, I printed out several pages of the song lyrics, used distressed green ink to stain them and HAND CUT each and every single blade of grass and glued them to my canvas. 
I also used actual lace for the portion of the dress that you can see.

SO there you have it, simply put. I hope you like it! 

Here is Mare's point of view knowing the music & the art: 
As a little girl, whenever I looked at my parents wedding album, I was never one to ask about the actual day. I always wondered more about life before and after that day. I picked my mom’s brain about her thoughts and what she thought her future would hold. As I got older, I would more often wonder about the entire journey of my life, but I was never concerned with whether or not someone would be with me on that journey. If there was, then “great” but if there wasn’t, that was ok too. It’s like thinking about wedding dresses versus two old people in their rocking chairs on a front porch, watching the sunset.... The story that time itself would create. Writing this, I’m realizing I was a weird little kid... never really caring about weddings, but more about the details of life. Having said that, I have never had a personal place to draw from when listening to this song.... it’s hard for me to relate to it in any way.... It was like listening to someone else’s personal story....until Jenn created the art.

The detail of the dress and the painstaking effort of creating those blades of grass out of lyrics... that spoke to me and helped me relate a little more to the song. Why? Because it’s the details and effort put into the art that reminded me of what I think about when I think about marriage. It’s not about the day for me, or really even what comes before it.... It’s about a start and what it will take to go forward. It’s like looking at the cover of a book before you read it.... but the details, the actual story is on the inside... and you don’t know what it says yet. Life, like a book, is always unpredictable... you never really know what’s written until it happens. You may think life is leading you in one direction and you’re going along that path, when suddenly out of nowhere, someone or something steps into it...and a new story begins....

Here us Danielle's point of view looking at the art alone: 
No hidden meaning in this painting. Who would've known, two people in love. As they lie in this field I imagine they gaze into each other's eyes, into their future together. The grass appears to be words...maybe it's the lyrics of both their pasts coming together, intertwining as one! Who would've known that the paths they traveled would bring them here; to this moment.

You can hear the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpCpk-KRkTE  this video was taken by Kirtsen (@Palatinleefan) in Nashville. 

Lyrics " Who would've known

She grew up in Southern California

Tried to make a living on her own

Then I came along and I took her from her mother

And now my heart is where she calls her home

Tried to give her everything I promised

Things don’t always go just as we plan

We built our world and we tore it down

But I cant do this on my own because

Her heart is where I call my home

And who would’ve known that Id ever get to see you in your gown

And who would’ve thought that the two of us would ever give our vow

But just look at us now

Countin down the days and second guessin

My head was full of clouds, my feet were cold.

I packed my things and I ran away

But that didn’t even really last a day

Because her heart is where I call my home

So I guess Ill be honest with myself...

I’m goin down this road I’ve never known.

This road has turns and this road has hills

But I know I’m always gonna love her still because

Her heart is where I call my home.

And who would’ve known that I’d ever get to see you in your gown?

And who would’ve thought that the two of us would give our vow?

But just look at us now.

She asked me what it was I loved about her....

Said everything and things I still don’t know.

She said I love you, I said I love you more

And everyday’s better than the one before because

Your heart is where I call my home.

Oh because

Your heart is where I call my home.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames": tracks 10 & 11.... Works in progress!

Hello Everyone! This post is going to be just me writing, as the next two tracks, “Stay Away” and “Little did I know” are still swimming in my head (and as you can tell, it’s pretty busy in there,)
...this quote just says it all......
So In this post, I will walk you through some of those thoughts…
Track # 10: “Stay Away”
I know… most of you were most excited to see “Stay away” and so am I (Sorry Melissa!) 
So, let me explain the problem here: “Art is a passion or it is nothing”-Robert Fry
I’m extremely passionate about this song, so I have SOOOO many ideas; all depending how you read into the lyrics…
I have so many thoughts and different interpretations of this song in my head that I am having a hard time deciding which I’d like to bring to life. Really, I have 3 pictures in my mind; in detail…I just can not choose between them! So please stay tuned for those. I am hoping to have this painting started within the next month. I’m looking at this song from the perspective of meeting someone that is so perfect that it scares you…If any of you say that you have never experienced this, you are lying.... Everyone has. It could be that you are already involved with someone; it could be that the emotions are so strong that you can not handle it, or the timing couldn’t be worse… so you are asking that person to stay away so you do not get pulled into the point of no return. Does that make sense? OR… I’m also looking at it as being involved with someone and no matter how much you love them… you just can’t do it anymore. Could have been a betrayal of trust or just too different, etc….
So yes, this song is complicated and I REALLY want to do it justice… so please know, I’m working on it and I want it to be perfect…………I give you my word it will be worth the wait ;-) 
Ok, Track #11: “Little did I know”
This one I DO have a sketch for. (yay!)  This is another song I think everyone can relate to. I am painting this from the view point of finding out that you really didn't know everything about someone you might have loved or still love... It happens all the time... You meet someone and start a relationship and you are almost blinded by the rush of the "new love high" & attraction that you ignore the signs... I hear this song in 2 ways.. It could be just that, you get off that high and realize they aren't right for you after all ( which still hurts, but you shouldn't have to change people you love, right?) OR... You are madly in love then get blindsided by something they may have done or hid from you... Either way, both of those situations suck and are depressing. I do not see this song as depressing; I find this an empowering song! With lines like "as your tears fell to the floor I turned to stone"... I mean, it takes guts to tell someone you love them more than they'll ever know, then "I'm letting go".... I wanted to capture that empowering moment, where you are able to walk away from something you love because you know it's not right for you.... That kind of drama and passion is what great movies are made of... And then to put it to music that makes you just want to dance is genius.
 Again, I applaud you Mr.DeWyze.... You are by far the most amazing story teller in the world ... Stay tuned for the finished paintings in a few months!!!!! ..... 

Next up, "Who would've known".... 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames", track #9 "Don't be afraid"

**due to the size of this painting, I needed to have 3 views. Please note this is still in progress**

This is one of my favorite songs and I will just warn you now, this will be a long post. We all have lots to say about this, so get comfy...
“Don’t be afraid” Penetrates & frees your soul as soon as you even hear the first few lines. It’s the lyrics, Lee’s voice, everything about it.
I can not imagine anyone listening to this song and not feeling 100% at ease. It’s so beautiful and powerful. Could you honestly still be afraid of something hearing this voice telling you not to be????
People tell you all your life to follow your heart...Although this is encouraging, “Don’t be afraid” should go hand in hand with that because if you think about it, anything that that allows you to follow your heart is scary as hell… Denying your heart & mind from what it really wants lets that fear creep in. When I listen to this song, I am hearing this amazing voice (my favorite sound in the world by the way) telling me not to be afraid. So yeah, this song holds a special place in my heart. If you think about it, before this song was even written his voice was helping me not be afraid. I created my twitter account for the sole purpose of posting my art for Lee to see. Before this, you’d never catch me being anywhere near showing my art to the public eye, especially ones that are so personal and special to me.
If you get a chance, listen to this interview Lee did a few months back with The Heights 88.7... 1) Hearing HIM describe this song is perfection and better than anything I can right about. I get it… I mean, I know EXACTLY what he means…and when he references internal monologue…I swear he reads my mind ...and 2) it is by far the best version I have heard of this song to date. I never heard his voice sound better… there is nothing else to say besides I am in complete utter AWE…
I found the link to that interview… it really IS my favorite interview to date from the version of “Don’t be afraid”, his talking voice, how he describes the song…everything about it. This video belongs to WyzeOwiz, you can hear it here, and it really is worth listening to the entire thing:http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_bxEMpcFyHQ&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D_bxEMpcFyHQ
As far as the painting goes… I chose a sugar skull because I love the vibe and the way they look…. But I chose to show him looking into the mirror with this image looking back at him… in order to NOT write a novel here, when you read Mare’s review below...That is EXACTLY what I was going for… The mouth is made up of piano keys and his guitar fret tattoo…I will tell you though that the eyes are the most important part to me. You hear that the eyes are the windows into someone’s soul…. I was trying to capture an exact moment there. A few months ago, I flew out to Chicago to see Lee perform (right there is another way Lee encourages me to not be afraid, I hate flying, let alone traveling on my own) well I got to meet a lot of the people I have gotten to know so well through Lee & his music, It was an amazing experience. But that was when “Silver Lining” was released as his new single. Annie, (Dewyzefan6) had handed out red glow sticks to everyone in the venue to hold up when he played that song. When it happened, it looked amazing, but the most amazing part was when Lee looked up and noticed them…. The look of awe and appreciation that took over his face was almost overwhelming… Seriously, that moment needed to be captured…. This was my ode to him so he has that visual reminder of that spectacular moment… It’s the view of the crowd from HIS eyes, holding up those red glow sticks……
Here are some actual pictures of that moment taken by the amazing Karen (@Weyezsoxboo) Thank you Karen!!! 

Mare’s point of view knowing the art AND the music:
Listening to music is a personal experience and each song you listen to brings forth memories, emotions and feelings that no other person can exactly share in the same way. The truly gifted songwriters create songs whose words and notes make you see yourself in a new way or remind you of things buried deep within. It’s songs like these that nudge your soul. Look deeper. What are you made of? And when you see it.... Don’t be afraid.
The art. Of all of them so far, this is my favorite... because you really have to understand it, think about it and study it. Many people will look at a skull and be reminded of death and associate it with scary connotations. A sugar skull is actually a reminder to look at LIFE. It takes something associated with death and adorns it with reminders of life and beautiful things. They represent life. Again, the message is... look deeper. The musician is looking into the mirror and what is reflected back is a skull. The first instinct would be to turn away. It would be sending a message of ugliness, death, fear. Look deeper. It’s actually a sugar skull. A person whose true gifts, his life, his SOUL are reflected back at him. He is made of music. Reminders of his lyrics, instruments, his fight and belief in music, and the people he makes that music for.... can all be found within the skull. The musician is standing in front of the mirror, in a form everyone knows....but the reflection is one that says “Don’t Be Afraid.... Look deeper, reach deeper, trust yourself and you will see the real you.... you, who are strong and made of much more than what is on the outside. You are more than the scars, hurt, confusion and ugliness of the past. Trust in who you really are because beneath all of that is the soul.... that is where life is.....look at who you reallyare and know that it is beautiful....” 
Don’t Be Afraid is a personal monologue for all of us. We’ve been made by the good and bad in our lives. Life comes down to love and loss...whether it be loved ones, or something within ourselves. It comes from times of hurt and happiness.... it’s just up to you to decide which you will allow to live in your soul, which one you choose to remember. Will you allow the bad times to define you, make you guarded, untrusting, and insecure? Or will you allow yourself to let go, be open, and be grounded in the good within your life and who you are? Do you trust yourself enough....Are you strong enough to look deeper.... and not be afraid? Maybe you’ll find the answer for yourself in the soulful notes of the guitar strings and quiet but strong and peaceful voice within the song... if you truly listen and look deeper....
Danielle’s point of view from looking at the art ONLY:
 Ok let me just start by saying I love love love sugar skulls, there I feel better had to get that out in the open hehe! This painting has so many things going on that I hope everyone notices. Every little detail on the skull shows a different part of the man. He's standing there looking into himself, he knows who he is he knows every little thing that makes him who he is. The keyboard, the piece of the guitar...this is who he is this is exactly where he wants to be. If you look close you can see red glimmers in his eyes, I imagine this is his inspiration ;rather his motivation. Those red glimmers is what drives him to be the best he can be! Don't be afraid...this painting says....don't just look at me...get to know me..look inside me! He's not looking into a mirror of a man he's looking into a mirror of a soul! Don't be afraid...just be you

**I was going to post another link to the song here… but I think you really NEED to hear the version in my link above**
Lyrics: “Don’t be afraid”
Well I've seen love
And I've seen pain
But never in my life will I fear these things again
So I'll hope, and I won't let go
But if I'm holding on too tight my darlin'  let me know
(hey yeah....)
Fix my heart, and my broken bones
If I can't stand up on my own don't make me stand alone
Lift me up
So I can see the light, but when the sun goes down
I will lay in your arms tonight
Everybody's waiting for a fault
But I won't let them se me stumble now
I'm never gonna fall
Don't be afraid
Your heart has been repaid
Don't be afraid
Your soul will not betray
Well I've been lost
And I've been found
But never in my life did I beg to hear the sound
Of your voice
But I'm calling now
And if you ever lose your way, I'll find your heart somehow
Everybody's waiting for a fault
But I won't ever let them see me stumble now
I'm never gonna fall
Don't be afraid
Your heart has been repaid
Don't be afraid
Your soul will not betray
(hey yeah....)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A visual album review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames": track #8 "The Ride"

Hello! Most of you have already read a huge portion of this because we posted this before the album was released. In order to post the songs in the order they appear on “Frames”, this is track # 8, “The Ride”. This way, my sister can also speak to the painting itself.
Now when we originally posted this, the only versions we had to go on were live ones.  I LOVE the album versions, but I think when it comes to the painting capturing the vibe of the song, you have to hear it live, which is posted below. The live version is just sexier and just… _________... I’ll just stop there, you get the point. I will just leave you to read what Mare and Danielle have to say because when it comes to this song and this painting… no one can describe it as well as Mare did…It is  absolute perfection and I never get tired of reading it……in this case it wasn’t just the song that inspired the painting.. it was reading and discussing how she felt about the song. Team work at it’s finest:
Here is a recap of Mare’s description of the song….
The idea for this painting came the morning after I saw Lee sing “The Ride” for the first time....right in front of me, in Asheville, NC. It was the first time I’d heard the song and I had an immediate physical reaction to it. I wanted to live INSIDE the song. I felt the music crawl up my skin, make my heart pound..... and as it was giving me chills, suddenly the room fell away. I heard the music, I heard the words, but I was no longer watching the person in front of me sing. Instead, a song turned into a story that I fell into... with my own images, my own feelings.... That is truly when you get “lost” in a song. I knew, after hearing it just once, that my reaction to the song, the world it created for me, and the way I could let go and get lost in it..... HAD to come to life.

I contacted my friend Jenn the next day. We had spoken about her art and Lee’s music many times in the past. I always felt that what she painted is how I would explain Lee’s music visually. She makes his songs into pictures.... The entire vibe and feeling of a song in front of me VISUALLY. I was so affected by The Ride, that I knew I had to ask her if she would paint the song.... Her response was: “What if I paint what YOU see? Describe it to me, everything you see and feel about the song and I’ll make it real...”.... I wasn’t sure how that would work....

That night, I sat down to write a short hand of what that song looked like in my mind. Here are the exact words I sent to Jenn:

“The scene is smokey to me, fiery, it burns. Reds, black details, sepia tones, not clear, more like you're looking thru smoke except maybe one detail that's in focus. It almost reminds me of 1920's prohibition basement music with sexual tension, withheld aggression, a warning, but chill vibe all in one.
A few visuals: that new mic with a hand holding it, maybe to the forearm to see a tattoo to know its him, and lips to the mic.
I also see him writing this song.... paper and pencil on an empty stage, with lights above shining down.
It also creates a sexual kind of pic.... I see two people up against the wall in a kind of struggle.... Arms pinned. But even though I see the whole pic, on a canvas, I can only see the couples arms in an aggressive hold.
I see SO many different pictures, but the FEEL of it is always the same....”

The next morning, Jenn had read what I wrote, and the amazing thing is..... She had seen the same visuals. She knew EXACTLY where I was going, and from that point on, we collaborated on the picture, the art, of The Ride.

The more talks we had, and the further the painting evolved and became what it is, the further inspired I became. Someone could take my feelings, my reactions, my imaginings.... and transfer them to canvas. When you really “listen” to a song that affects you, it becomes more than notes and words. It takes on a life of its own. Suddenly, the song has texture, it has color, it has shades, a vibe, a feeling.... it creates a snapshot of the world you got lost in for those few minutes. 

It takes a circle of inspiration to create something like this. A musician that writes a song from his heart and performs it so well that you get lost in a story..... An artist that is so in tune with that music that she can create a visual.... And a fan that was so affected, that the song had to become “real”.... through nothing other than words....
Now, Here is my Sister, Danielle’s point of view looking at the art work alone: 
 Wow, ok so The Ride...I'm sitting in a cozy little jazz bar, the room filled with a smoky curtain! As I sit and sip my martini...a man walks out on the stage and mesmerizes the audience with his laid back, sexy voice! The man is cool and confident I imagine he rolls his eyes up to the ceiling as he feels the melody and let's the lyrics soar into my soul! This is the kind of painting you look at before picking up a 50 shades book hehe!

You HAVE Listen to "The Ride" here (courtesy of Kelly (@Lees_BiggestFan) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzAV_6JGLQk   
(**warning, be prepared to not want to do anything else the rest of the night except repeat)
Lyrics  for “The Ride” 
I don’t break apart so easily...
Maybe you would like to try.
But I’m the one who waited carefully...
Thinkin’ I would take my time.

But you knew better than I....
Somewhere buried underneath the lights...
You wait.... You wait.... You’d wait and you’d see...
The time it takes to bend someones knees...
And who, who knew better than you?
No no no, no no no, no no no, no 
Who knew better than you?

Hold on tight, the ride has just begun...
If you care to come along.
Cause being right for you was too much fun...
And being right for me was wrong.

But you knew better than I.....
Somewhere buried, somewhere buried, underneath the lights.
You wait... You wait.... You’d wait and you’d see...
The time it takes to bend someones knees.
And who.... Oh who knew better than you?
Knew better.... Knew better..... Knew better than you?
Who knew better than you? Who knew? Who knew better than you?
Who knew better? Who knew better? Who knew better..... than you?

 Hopefully you are enjoying reading and seeing how we think and feel about this album.... Next post, "Don't be afraid" ... 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames", track #7 "you don't know me"

We are back!
This is the “other” painting I was referring to when I told you about track 2- “Fire Away”
The night I was actually up the entire night with ideas running through my mind. I woke up and worked on this painting and “Fire Away” at the exact same time. I’d add paint to one, and then while that dried… work on the other. Both paintings were completed by the end of that day. Both paintings are similar in the fact that they are simple, yet the message is pretty legit. As a matter of fact, the message on both songs is very similar as well.
The beat of the song is upbeat however I think that vibe changes depending on if you are hearing Lee sing it live, listening to the main recorded version or the acoustic version on the Deluxe album… I painted this one with the main album version in mind. To me, when I hear this song, from the very beginning I am just picturing a record spinning the entire time…skipping & jumping over the cracks. Although the music seems upbeat, the message is quite clear “you don’t know me!”  I painted this from the perspective of dealing with people that THINK they know you and THINK they know what is best for you. I can speak personally to this song as well from my past and at times in even the present.  It could be from a creative standpoint… where your creativity is being repressed and governed by people that think they know better and try to change you, but also in life, in general. I have always been that person that was always there for people when they needed me, I never asked questions I just was there when I was needed… but you know what? That takes it’s toll on you. You may think you are being the good person…not making waves….going with the flow, but eventually, it will catch up with you. As I grew as a person, learning to do what is best for me and what I want to do… I found that those people you were always there for… they refuse to acknowledge your growth, your opinions, etc. They think they know you; they look down on you when you grow a back bone… and you know what, you find you don’t need them or want them around anymore. No one can tell you what is good for you than YOU can… it took me far too long to realize this, and I still struggle with this. This is how I take this song… You are dealing with these people and now you are fed up, you do not want them around…you wish it worked out, but hey- it didn’t and you are doing it your way.  I think Lee did just that and I do not know about you, I’m pretty damn excited he did!
For someone to stand up for what they feel and believe in, then use that to fuel even more creativity?... hell yes! Slow clap to you Mr. DeWyze !
Here is Mare’s point of view from the music & the art: 
 There are times when people will make assumptions about you, stereotype you, or put you into a mold they’ve created and they’ll say “YOU have to be THIS!”... but it will be based on THEIR views, judgements, thoughts and needs. Sometimes, people have blinders on and can’t see others for who they really are... but they are convinced they are right. When someone makes an assumption about me or they think they know me and it’s completely wrong.... it pisses me off and it’s hurtful, however.... it makes it easier for me to write them off. I’ve learned that there’s nothing I can do when someone refuses to see the real me... I accept it and move on. Because somewhere, there ARE people who will.

Some people choose to conform, thinking things will be easier. People can get locked in to that and start to become what others think they are....and lose themselves. The people who KNOW who they are.... they refuse. When you don’t or can’t conform, you have three choices: bend, break or say goodbye. You can only be what someone else needs for so long before something has to give. You can only tolerate the “mold” for so long. You can only tolerate other people’s assumptions about you for so long. Sometimes people start out on the same page, and as time goes by, one grows and one doesn’t and you begin to go in opposite directions. Do you stay together or go separate ways? What happens when expectation and reality go in opposite directions? There is a shock that comes with the realization that people you’ve been close with WOULDN’T know you. No matter how many times you try to show people who you are.... they just can’t grasp it because they need or want you to be someone else. Whether it’s a relationship, partnership, personal or business.

Breaking out of that and walking away.... that’s freedom. Leaving the frustration behind and realizing that it’s ok for people to NOT know you, because YOU know you.... and then continuing to BE you.... that’s authentic.  

This song MUST be sung with attitude... and personally, I like to get a little “salty” with it.... because it can’t be helped. It isn’t an angry kind of song... It’s the stage just past that. It’s just confidence, without being arrogant... someone washing their hands of the past. A shrug, and a “peace out” kind of vibe... “I’m done”.  It’s an old time chill vibe with a definitive but easy beat mixed with the roughness and grit in a tone that delivers the message.... A confrontation, an acceptance and a goodbye.  

The art is obviously a record that is broken.... in a way that looks like it was stomped on. Behind it are the lyrics, torn up, stained in a vintage look...the past. It looks like frustration left behind. The record....a break from the past, and perhaps the road to true creativity.... and freedom.

Here are Danielle’s thoughts on this painting looking at the art alone without knowing the music:
This is such an interesting piece. On first glance I think about the broken record and that makes me feel like the music has stopped. Then I notice the words in the background and I think to myself…ha ha you may have broken my record but the music lives on...even in its choppy texture the words are still there! It's like the record is saying, "you can break me but you sure as hell won't shut me up" Now, if you remember I said at first glance...when I take note of the name of the painting I suddenly I feel like this painting is saying I know I sound like a broken record but this is who I am...the words are here you're just not listening...the painting screams, "MUST I SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU"
You can hear “You don’t know me” here: 
another amazing in studio video posted by Lee DeWyze 
“You don’t know me” Lyrics
You don't know me
So why you staring me down
You don't know me
And I don't want you around
And like a bullet from your lips that hit me right between the eyes
We knew it had to come to this, so it shouldn't come as a surprise
The problem is, in all of this
You don't know me
You don't know me
You don't know me, like you did before
You don't know me
You don't know me
You don't know me
Like you did before
What happened to your kiss
There is nothing left inside
Well there must be more than this
At least I can say I've tried
The problem is
In all of this
You don't know me
You don't know me
You don't know me, like you did before
You don't know me
You don't know me
You don't know me
Like you did before
I wish I was wrong, I wish I was wrong,
Wish I was wrong, I wish I was wrong

Monday, October 14, 2013

A visual review of Lee DeWyze's new album "Frames" track #'s 5 & 6...

I am giving Mare and Danielle the night off! ...a very well deserved night off....

This post will be a little different because the next two tracks, “Like I Do” & “Open Your Eyes” have not yet made it to canvas. Not because I like them any less, just a matter of having the time to paint. I do have images already in mind for them, So I thought I’d walk you through how my mind works when I’m listening to these songs. 

**After the paintings are on canvas, we will go back to get all points of view like the other posts**

I will warn you now though, there is no possible way to describe everything that goes through my mind during my creative process.. trust me, You’d get dizzy.... 

I will start with track #5: “Like I Do”

For as much as I LOVE this song and can relate to this it (as I am sure we all do or did at some point of our lives..), I was having a hard time picturing the exact image I wanted to portray. I have so many but at first my mind just kept going right to the lyric “You were standing there, with street lights in your hair” ...That seemed like just the obvious route and I didn't feel I’d do the song justice.

 I was watching the movie “Hitch” the other night and in one of my favorite scenes there is a line from Albert (Kevin James) where he says to Hitch, “You know what it is like getting up every morning feeling hopeless, feeling like the love of your life is waking up with the wrong man? But, at the same time, hoping that she still finds happiness, even if it’s never going to be with you?” I love love love that line, especially when you look at his character and the character he is talking about. Anyway (I warned you, my mind is a labyrinth...) The point of that was that I was watching that movie and thought, “damn, that song would be a perfect in that scene.” Now, back on track....

 This is a song that everyone can relate to, whether you are looking at it from a jealousy standpoint like, seeing your ex with someone new, knowing that you will always be better for them. That new person could never know them the way you did. Which Is how I hear the song being told...OR...from the perspective of seeing someone you love, whether they know it or not, seeing them with someone thinking that the person they are with could never love them or know them the way you do. I think every single one of you have been in one, if not both of those situations. 

Today at work I was listening to “Like I do”  and I finally had a thought that I was pretty happy with.... But I am not going to tell you! :-)  I said I’d explain my thought process... not give away any surprises.... 

Now Onto Track #6: “Open your Eyes” 

This song...needs to be on a movie soundtrack, like.. ASAP... It’s beautiful, haunting, and brilliant! If I were a film writer, I’d seriously write a movie just so I could use this song.....which is why... I have decided to make this one a self portrait. Now, no worries... I’m not going to paint a “selfie” holding a rose.. or anything cheesy like a typical self portrait.. hopefully you all know me well enough that you kinda figured that... 

To me, when I say it should be in a movie. I have a specific scene in mind... I picture hearing it when the lead character has a life changing epiphany, when they realize something they should have been seeing all along .... 

I relate to this song on so many levels from “Everyone can see, Everyone but me” to “Remembering where I end and where you start”... 

I often think about the fact that my life is  MY movie... it has constant plot twists, dream sequences, main characters as well as characters that have been written off or those yet to appear. There are a lot of things personally specific to me where this song is screaming at me to open my eyes.... It just strikes this cord deep inside me so deeply, there was no other option for me than to portray...me...... 

I will share something awesome with you though since I teased you earlier... It’s not a promise because I have yet to try it and see if it will even work, but my HOPES for this painting are you have a super, 3D textured background.... I plan on ATTEMPTING to first cover the canvas with the lyrics in raised braille... not sure where that came from, but when the thought  ran through my head I was pretty damn excited ..... 

So, there you have it... if I went through every single thought in my head we’d be here forever.  haha. The next post will be back to our regular format for Track #7 “You don’t know me” ... talk to ya soon!!!!!! Have an awesome night 

- Jenn