The Story Behind The Art: Symphony, An Abstract Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Symphony - Abstract Expressionism - Artwork by Andrea Smith

Symphony by Andrea Smith. Acrylic on Canvas, 24x12. © 7th & Palm LLC 2017

Meet my newest piece, Symphony. This abstract acrylic on 1.5" deep gallery wrapped canvas measures 12" wide x 24" tall, and has painted teal edges to match. Soothing blue, teal, green, and white tones blend up and down the canvas. A variety of white paint splashes add personality and symphonic movement to the canvas panel. This painting is wired and ready to hang, no frame required.

Creating this particular piece of art inspired me to dig back into my musical roots from my childhood, but from an artistic perspective. I grew up with strict classical training on both the piano and oboe, learning everything from scales, to music theory, to playing numerous concertos, hymns, and marches—even being selected to perform with Indiana's All-State Orchestras and Bands.

Symphony - Abstract Expressionism - Artwork by Andrea Smith Symphony - Abstract Expressionism - Artwork by Andrea Smith

I spent 10 years of my life practicing the piano and eight practicing the oboe, with several years overlapping. Yes, it was incredibly time-consuming. My parents helped teach me to balance school, art class, practice time, private lessons, part-time jobs, homework, projects, and family time. Truthfully, it was every bit as busy as it sounds. 

But worth it? It taught me some invaluable life lessons. It taught me serious hard work. It taught me some incredible multi-tasking and time management skills that I still utilize today. It taught me how to keep going when I wanted to quit, how to teach myself new things—how to figure out complicated, hard stuff on my own, and to keep replicating that year after year. It also taught me how to ask for help and how to persevere through things I didn't want to do.

Those lessons translated to real life, and they helped me develop critical thinking skills and so much more that got me to where I am today. And when you step away from all of that, you still have the music from your past. The endless sonatas, etudes, canons, nocturnes, and marches that I was exposed to and learned to appreciate. The rich symphonies that I was able to be a part of—from learning the notes, to sitting (and even soloing) on a stage in front of hundreds of people, waiting for the conductor's first cue—to the applause that rose at the end. 

This piece of art and some of my upcoming new abstract acrylic work was inspired by that musical history. It was inspired by the rhythm you feel internally, sitting behind a piece of music, and by the methodical practice required to master your instrument. It was inspired by how instruments, notes, chords, and harmonies blend to create something greater than one sound alone. It was inspired by the men and women who are bold enough to lead, my parents included, as the movement of their conducting arms push through the air, pulling and pushing tempos to achieve the ultimate melding of notes, instruments, and the people that play those instruments. It was inspired by the feeling I get inside every time I hear a symphony or piece I've played in the past—of knowing the work it takes to achieve that sound, of the joy that sound brings, and the literal motion and movement I feel spring up in me when listening to a favorite.

Symphony - Abstract Expressionism - Artwork by Andrea Smith Symphony - Abstract Expressionism - Artwork by Andrea Smith

So what do you see? There are no wrong answers, only interpretations. Leave a comment and let me know what you think! If you're still intrigued, take a peek at what start-to-finish looks like for this painting.

Are you a fan of modern art and abstract expressionism? Browse some of my other pieces and see what's currently available.

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