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Words, Music and Art

This is my favorite painting by Emily Carr, entitled ‘Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky’. I’m including it here just because I love it. I think Beth, the artistic heroine of McShannon’s Chance, would love it, too.

There’s something of me in Beth, just as there’s something of me in Martin Rainnie, the musically talented hero of McShannon’s Heart. I’m not quite as visual as Beth, who describes Trey as ‘all warm shades of brown, hair and eyes and skin. He was all long lines and lean muscle.’ Nor am I as auditory as Martin, who improvises melodies to express what he can’t say in words, but my husband is. Like Martin, when Everett improvises on the guitar or piano he creates poetry with sound instead of words.

I’ve always been verbal. When I write a song, the lyrics come first. When I see a picture like ‘Scorned as Timber’, I think in terms of poetry. Everett and I sometimes tease each other about music: “You won’t want to learn that. It has too many chords in it.” “You won’t want to learn that. The lyrics are too long.” He can lift the most complicated music from a recording, and I can remember lyrics after hearing them once. It’s one of the ways we complement each other.

I think Beth would have been very much at home in Emily Carr’s time. I can see her as a member of the Group of Seven. Who is your favorite artist or musician? What is it that you love about their work?

By the way, my first book signing is next weekend at the Annex in Tantallon, just outside of Halifax. Can’t wait! If you’re in the area, think about dropping by. The store is a real gem, and there will be several authors there, including Judith James and Julianne Maclean. Just contact me for directions.

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