Violin Composition

   by Amanda Dicken for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Black and Violet

Inspiration Artist: Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky was rumored to have Synaethesia, a condition where a person can "see" sounds as colors. Several of his abstract paintings have titles related to compositions, so I used all the geometric shapes of his "Black and Violet" painting to create a violin, violin bow, and music stand as a tribute to how he "saw" classical music.
The main black piece of the violin is cardboard. The large green and orange triangle is made from canvasboard, and I sliced the bottom of it off to create the top scroll that holds the pegs. The semi-circles that consist of the pegs and part of the bridge are all from the thin wood strips. The black thin lines that surround the painting became the strings, the peg holders, and the top of the music stand, and are all made from the wood strips, except for the two longest black lines, which were made from cardboard. The chin rest is made from canvas, then glued onto a cardboard backing so it popped out from the piece. The round areas of red and orange and the small blue part (they look like rainbows) are made from canvas, with the red part having a cardboard backing. The long rectangular part of the bridge is from slicing the largest wood piece down one side, and the other part of that wood piece became the bottom of the music stand. That was originally two colors, purple and light blue, but the paint would not dry and so I completely repainted it as one color and made the other blue shape out of cardboard that forms the stem of the music stand. The large curved piece of the violin was first cut out of canvas, then I Elmer's glued the wire to it, and put another piece of canvas over that with Elmer's, so I could curve it and you wouldn't see the wire. I then put a small piece of wood strip on the top and a piece of canvas on the bottom of it, because a lot of these pieces were oil painted (to match the oil paint of the original work) and the hot glue wouldn't stick. I hot glued the large curved piece to the violin and the green triangle. I used the natural fold of the main black piece to hold the large green and orange triangle, which is supported by a slice of the small thicker wood piece. A small, triangular thick wood piece is also supporting the bridge, so it is elevated to how a violin's would be. The orange and white triangle on the black part, the small blue triangle, the large orange and red semi-circles, and the black and red pieces on the orange and white triangle are all made from the thin wood strips. The yellow half triangle on the bridge was originally made from the thick wood piece, but I couldn't make it work so I switched it to a cardboard version. The part underneath the orange semi-circle is made from the thick wood, as well as the yellow and black striped part on the bottom of the bridge. Everything was Elmer's glued, with the exception of the large canvas wire arch, that was hot glued to the top and bottom of the violin.
The violin bow was made from slicing up one of the smaller shapes of the painting that had small long rectangles of blues, yellows, and reds, which is the part you would hold if it were a bow. I made it first from the wood strips as one whole shape, then cut it up with an exacto knife and glued it back together to form the hand grip. The rest of that shape forms one half of the top of the music stand where the music would sit. The other half is from the other crazy colored shape of burgundys, cream, and orange, that I cut up to make the other side of the bow. I then cut a long cardboard piece to connect the two bow parts. That shape isn't in the painting, but I made it to represent the color of the background. The bottom of the bow that would play the violin was tricky. I unraveled the rope until I had enough basic strands to work with. I cut them to fit the bow, brushed them out several times with a comb, then soaked them in hot, soapy dishwashing detergent water for a few hours to try to get all the kinks out. I let it dry, then rebrushed it and hot glued one section to the bow, let it dry, then stretched it to the other side, and hot glued that side. I also Elmer's glued over the top to make sure it was all attached. The rest of the bow is all Elmer's glue. The rest of the pieces of the violin bow I didn't use became the two smaller pieces on top of the orange and white triangle.
Finally, the music stand bottom consists of that big wood piece, and two canvas board triangles, cut with an exacto knife. The large triangle behind those two, and the large yellow triangle at the top of the music stand are cut from the cardboard. All three bottom triangles are Elmer's glued to each other and the base. The red and striped piece is cut from the thick wood block, and I drilled a small hole in the back, then hot glued it to top of the triangles and added Elmer's glue for extra support. It's also strong enough to be used as a place for the violin bow. The top of the music stand is all Elmer's glued together and made from the cardboard and thin wood strips. The four lines that fan out across the yellow triangle are all four wooden dowels, and painted in acrylic paint. I glued a small thick wood piece to the back of the top of the music stand, then added the blue rectangular cardboard piece to it. That whole section is nothing but Elmer's glue. To connect the top half of the stand to the bottom stand, I first Elmer's glued a very tiny cardboard strip to the back of the red and black striped part. I then melted the friendly plastic pellets, and created a very strange shape that could hold the bottom of the blue rectangular piece snugly, and fit against the cardboard triangle of the bottom half. Once it was hardened, I hot glued it to the cardboard, which I'm guessing made it stronger because I'm sure the plastic was sort of melted onto the cardboard with the hot glue. I then Elmer's glued the thin cardboard strip against the blue rectangle where it ended up resting against.
All the cardboard pieces and some of the black thin wood strips are painted with acrylic paints. The thick wood pieces are all oil paint, except for the base, which was in oil paint, but I had to take it all off because it wouldn't dry, then repainted it with acrylic. Most of the wood strips are all oil paint, except for a few of the black, very thin wood strips that make up the violin strings and the music stand top. All the canvas board and regular canvas pieces are oil paint. The thick wood pieces were all cut with both a hand saw and a jig saw. The music stand stands on it's own, I made a base for the violin to rest on out of the rest of the thick wood pieces I didn't use and the Chavant clay, but the violin rests very nicely on the wall so I didn't even need it. My boyfriend works in law enforcement, so I used boxes of his ammo as weights when I Elmer's glued things together, and used wire cutters for the wire. The exacto knife cut all the canvas, canvas board, and wood strips.