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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....)


  1. Ladies just WOW! This is incredible and true. Jenn amazing painting. Love this.. I want to see them all lined up an do a little video! :) X

  2. Right on!

    A skull is a reminder of mortality, but a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) is a celebration of life. The whimsical skulls are used to decorate altars set up by Mexican families to remember their passed on relatives. Along with the sugar skulls, the altars are heaped with flowers, food, cigarettes, snacks and drinks...all for the spirits of the dead to enjoy.

    I love the depth of symbollism Jenn has chosen to decorate the skull, it's all very personal to Lee and Mare hits it. He faces who he is, we see he's musician and through his eyes, the adoration of the ones who love his music....affirmation.

    The very minute I heard this song at that Chicago concert (one of its first performances, I think) it resonated with me...he could've written that song for me! At a later show, I shared that thought plus my gratefulness that he shared such a personal song with us. He said "Cool. Then this is for you." Thanks.

    Hands down. It's my favorite on Frames, and one of my favorites from Jenn's paintings. I will spare my personal interpretation since Mare says it all. It is internal monologue, but I also hear bits of conversation to another, maybe even prayer. Be encouraged. Be who you are. Don't be afraid. :)