Painted Violins

2010 Durham Symphony Painted Violins Fundraiser
Tickets $5 each or 8 for $35 in honor of our 35th Season
Photographs ©2010 Courtesy of Jess Isaiah Levin, Classical Photography
(Click an image to enlarge)


‘Classical Hues’ by Todd Bond www.THBart.com


I must admit, initially I was stumped as to how or what I would paint on a violin.  With its smooth surface and all of its delicate curves, I new I wanted to do something unique and combine different elements. After days of just looking at, and turning it in my hands, I decided to gold leaf the edges and the scroll. Wanting to make a contrast between the brightness of the leafing and the body, I started with a dark base. To enable the fingerboard to stand out I used paint mixed with sand to give it texture and a hint of glimmer. For the front, I decided to gold leaf music notes and symbols and used a similar brush stroke found in other musical works of art that I have done. Since the conductor brings the different components of the symphony into a cohesive unit, I knew I wanted to have that represented on the violin. I also used the same abstract brush stroke to paint the conductor, bringing all of the elements I used on the violin into one piece.

‘Classical Hues’ – Select Quantity


‘The Quilted Violin’ by Claudia Harris

I usually work in fabric and stitchery art, so it made sense to “quilt” a violin. Quilting also gave me the opportunity to use many different colors. The strings represent lighter to darker tones. The violin has a ribbon to hang it by, so that it can be viewed from all sides.

‘The Quilted Violin’ – Select Quantity


‘Violin of Sprites’ by David Taylor www.davidctaylorart.com

As I lived with this violin for a few months I began to see that it was inhabited by persons; not people, exactly. Let’s call them sprites. There were scores of them; among them was a sprite called Harmony, another Tonality, another Caprice, and another Phrasing. There was also Cacophony and Atonality and even Demisemiquaver. Others were still developing and their names were still unclear to me. As I was painting them, I realized that they were vegetative by nature. Who knew. They grew from seed, and the seed was sown by a caped super being. A cascade of gold threatened to cover them up with standard mediocrity, but the sprites of the violin are with originality and freshness holding back the brassy tide.

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‘The Cello’s Tune in Sight’ by April Boyd-Manring www.theartofapril.com

Looking at a cello you can see its already beautiful lines and curves. It’s made perfectly to allow the strings song to breathe passion when played by the right hands. With it already being so beautiful, it was hard to know what to paint on it. It almost felt as though I would be doing it a disservice. When I play my cello, I always think of the how much it’s tune draws me to a place of peace and relaxation. I can also appreciate the hard work an dedication it takes to play the instrument so it’s full beauty can be heard. The painting I created on it’s surface honors the place of peace and relaxation created by the string’s song as well as the musician’s dedication in practice to play it well, so the audience can feel the passion breathed by it’s music.

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