artist Liz Schafer
About the art

The common rhythm between art and music, whether jazz, blues, classical, or funk? All are a form of communication – a conversation on life.

“I create art about music, about sound, and my art expresses my love of all music.

Both music and art have been a driving force throughout my life, and combining the two passions into a series of artworks is a natural extension. Through music I have found my own style and my mission in life.

I gained a greater understanding and appreciation of music’s history after moving to Mississippi, the birth of the blues, and setting up my studio near New Orleans, the birth of jazz. In the south music envelopes life, and here I find a huge well of inspiration. My mind is constantly filled with imagery as I listen to music, enjoying the energy and rhythms. My music is on canvas, always searching for truth of form of visual sound.

During the past 16 years I have been exploring music, the sound and the atmosphere created with instruments and voice, painting the “groove” in my works. My love of music is expressed through textures, line, shape and color, advancing and receding interweaving to form compositions on canvas. Relaying the pure love for life, these abstractions address that movement with a daring and dramatic flair. Over the years my images have become more abstract reflecting the complexity of the image, realizing that it’s not just the subject but also it’s essence that relays the message. By applying layers of acrylic, oils and collage materials, I build areas of transparency and opacity; effectively representing music’s fluidity, harmony, tonality, and transparency. Each piece is in the truest sense an improvisation, allowing the art to progress extemporaneously on its own — taking shape and coming alive filled with energy.

Painted Blues Series are a visualization of blues music. “To me in the truest sense of form, the blues are a rebirth. They are the response to the struggles in life and extracting the best from it, finding a way to survive in the midst of pure despair – in short, making lemon cream pie from lemons.” And in keeping with the true sense of “the blues” these works are constructed, deconstructed, and then reconstructed weaved into multiple-layers incorporating found objects and architectural elements. These works are very personal revealing parts of my heritage, my personal experiences, and of course my pure love of the harmonies and expressions of the musicians. Suffering gives rise to creativity.

The Jazz Series is a visualization of jazz music. In creating jazz, improvisation is a definitive hallmark. Jazz improvisation is the personal expression of the improviser and of his or her own musical, spiritual, visual and emotional context. So how does one paint such an abstraction? It is an operation in the moment. One just follows the music, and of one follows the music one can go anywhere.Jazz music or jazz imagery is a conversation. The art form reflects the undulating rhythms, following the reflections in tone of speech, growing louder at times then becoming a mere whisper when needed along with the cadence or phrasing of the conversation. These visual jazz compositions mirror those conversations conducted by musicians through the manipulation of line, figure, tone, structure, color and rhythm. Each piece is an experiment exploring problems and in the truest sense an improvisation, allowing the art to progress extemporaneously on its own – taking shape and coming alive full of energy.

Rhythm and Hues series are works celebrating improvisation in the musical moment. These performance works are created with the time of flowing rhythms during concerts and musical performances. “Have you listened to any great art lately?”

Art and Soul Series approaches all of the genres of music in colorful acrylics on canvas within the same size format.