music, CDs, what I listen to while I paint, music to listen to while paintingDo you paint with music playing in the background or do you prefer silence?  Music playing while I paint is so important to me.  I listen to a variety of music depending on the type of painting I’m working on.

As I look down my list of current favourites for 2014, I read names like Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Ella Henderson, Sam Smith, The Madden Brothers, ZHU, Gabrielle Aplin, Coldplay, Milky Chance, Passenger, Robin Thicke, Andrew Roachford, Morcheeba, Lorde, Boy and Bear, Uncle Jed, Tinpan Orange, and Meghan Trainor.  Others in my collection that feature more than once include Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke, Pink, Lady Gaga, Il Divo, Bryan Ferry, Lily Allen, and Meatloaf!  And if I ever want to take a trip down memory lane, I put on my Ted Mulry Gang CD!  I wonder who else has a Ted Mulry Gang CD in their collection?  They were the first band I ever saw in concert and I’ll never forget going home with ringing ears which stayed that way for hours afterwards!

And my favourite soundtracks?  Currently they are “Life of Pi”, “Shrek”, “Happy Feet”, “Rocky” and “Kill Bill”!  Quite an eclectic mix but they all inspire me in different ways.  For instance, when I need a little bit of extra energy, I put “Happy Feet” on and that gets me bouncing around the room with paintbrush in hand, splashing paint all over the place and just generally having a good time.  And of course, to add inspiration to my abstract paintings I put “Kill Bill” or “Rocky” on.  They are great motivators!

I think the best thing about listening to music while I paint is that music can be quite soothing (except “Kill Bill”) and being relaxed helps me to make the right choices with colour, shapes,design etc.  If I don’t have any music on I tend to listen to the noises around me instead and that’s usually something like traffic outside, machinery being used by neighbours, the washing machine going, the telephone ringing etc.  It’s nice to drown that out.

Of course, when I’m painting outdoors, it’s a different story.  I love listening to wildlife when we’re outdoors, particularly birds chirping away, and often the background noise is a steady hum, like people chatting in a cafe or waves washing up on the beach.  That’s always lovely to hear and when I get home with my paintings, it prompts a lovely memory of the ambience around me whilst I was painting.

So, I’m wondering, what’s on everyone else’s playlist at the moment?  Do you have a favourite song/artist/soundtrack that you listen to while you paint?  Or do you prefer silence (or the sound of your neighbour’s whipper snipper)!

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