"Would you paint me a song...one that
only I can sing?"
As many of you know, on Aug. 24th, Michael McDermott will celebrate another birthday. And because "it's more blessed to give than to receive", I was thinking that this event might provide the perfect occasion for all of us touched throughout the year by the gift that is his music to find a way in which we might use this very gift itself to give something back to him.
More specifically, I was thinking about both the way the arts bring people together and how a work of art is in a sense never "completed"...since the best of these creations tend to become a dynamic life form all their own. For example, I've discussed time and again in reviews of Michael's shows how songs one may have heard a dozen times before can on a certain night take on new colors, new shades of meaning, and ultimately find a new place in one's life, in turn changing the creation that is the person listening...who in turn may then go out and change another creation...etc....etc...etc.
Anyway (assuming you're not now more confused than when you started reading!^&*^*!), with that concept in mind, the following is my idea for how (with the only "expense" a 37 cent stamp) everyone with an appreciation for Michael's music -- fans, friends, family, members of his management team -- can all come together to tangibly illustrate for Michael that the art he's created has indeed become part of the creations that are ourselves, and how we can in turn unite to form yet another new creation, altogether different from any that's come before. Simply put, the idea is for all of us to "paint Michael a song".
Here's how it works:
1. Each person chooses a favorite Michael McDermott line (if you're like me you probably have several, with these changing from day to day and new ones constantly being added (!)...but for the sake of this project, you need to choose just one, and that pretty fast, as time is clearly of the essence in this case).
2. "Paint" the line you've chosen on a small piece of paper in any way you wish ("small" is the operative word here since we'll be combining everyone's efforts in another phase of the project so it's important that there's room for everyone's contributions...I would say that the paper should be no larger than, oh maybe, 3" square or 2" x 6" long, something to that effect). You can use colored construction paper, plain white copy stock, ruled notebook sheets, post-it notes...pretty much anything your heart desires as long as it's a flat piece of paper. As for the decoration, again, pretty much anything goes....calligraphic writing with formal pens, brush strokes with kids' watercolors, plain printing with an ordinary ballpoint...whatever you wish (...the illustration shown here offers just one simple example).
3. Under the McDermott line you've created, sign your name. After all, art is a reflection of the individual "artist", and we want Michael to know who his work has inspired to be a part of this project. Plus, this will also serve the purpose of each person contributing having signed his/her name to Michael's "birthday card", if you will.
4. Mail your finished, decorated McDermott line including your signature to me at the following address:
All submissions must be received (not merely postmarked) no later than Aug. 17....which brings me to...
5. I will use all submissions to form a framed collage that will be sent out in time for Michael to open on his birthday, Aug. 24th. Somewhere within the frame (probably at the top of the finished collage) I will add words (either these exactly or something to the effect) "In honor of Michael's birthday, 2002, we've come together to "Paint You A Song". (I just came up with this idea myself a day before putting up this page on it, so it's still developing in part as I present it here to you...hence the not-so-etched-in-stone presentation of the words that will accompany your submissions. The overall layout/finished product, however, is -- fear not -- very clear in my mind).
6. Before sending the finished collage, I will photograph it and subsequently post the photo of it here on artistinsane.com so everyone who has participated can see/hear the "song we've painted Michael" and we can all therefore "picture" the completed "gift" he'll be opening on Aug. 24th. (Obviously, keep in mind I can't actually post the photo until after the 24th...just to make sure a certain someone doesn't see it before that!!!)
Well, that's it. What do you think? If you have any questions, comments, etc. please e-mail me right away... firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, what are you waiting for?!?! Remember, time is of the essence, so go start painting your line of Michael's birthday song, 2002, now!!!