Jazz is a language of expression. Pattern and shape are yet another idiom. So to is color. Over the past week it has become apparent to me that what I am attempting to do, while creating my "visual jazz" pieces, is to create a language.

It struck me somewhere between my reading on Joseph Cornell and an introduction that an online friend made on a chat site, where they shared the faux language they had created for a book project. The Joseph Cornell book was talking about the roots of the Surrealist movement, calling it a "constructive mission to tap into the subconscious, a way to structure a new order for society and art."

Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting by Charles Mingus

It seems safe to declare the state of things in the states nearly as scary as the times in which the Surrealists were attempting to simplify and find meaning in a cruel and dystopian European political landscape in the early 20th century. As I have been creating these "visual jazz" pieces, I have let go of myself a bit, attempting to use similar patterns, but varying combinations and scales to translate one of the more raw and emotional art forms that we have at our disposal today. This spontaneity that I am allowing myself feels like a inky game of Tetris. When I add color, I try to match the tone, the volume, the phrenetic manner of note delivery or the smooth drive of the bass line or lead.

The combination of the pattern and the color truly becomes another language that can be read. As I think about the paintings more as language and try to see the pieces of music that I am translating they become very different animals to me.

Ole by John Coltrane

The translation of this raw expression feels vital in this political landscape that seems to focus on hyper sensationalizing the details of every bit of news that is out there. We must focus on the emotions that others experience. We must be an empathetic populace. This way we can all stay afloat.