I've been thinking about this question. Do I have any favourite babies? Out of all the work I've created, both art and music, do I have any which I'm particularly proud of? It's a difficult question to answer, because sometimes a painting or a composition can caouse great pain in it's gestation, and when I've … Continue reading Do I have Favourites? 4 that I can think of!
After spending the first half of this year predominantly working on musical projects, either for EWTN TV or for myself, it's time to spend some time on some painting. I've continued to paint the odd little picture when I'm teaching my art classes, and I'll share one with you later in this post. But first … Continue reading Some New Work to Share
John Williams contributed three scores in 1990, to three quite different films; Stanley and Iris, about the developing relationship between an illiterate cook, Stanley (played against type by Robert de Niro) and a grieving widow, Iris (played by Jane Fonda). Then there was Presumed Innocent, a legal thriller featuring Harrison Ford as a lawyer wrongfully … Continue reading A John Williams Score For Every Year of my Life – 1990 – Home Alone
I've had to go back to teaching this year, mainly because of the rising cost of living. I've been working in two different schools, and in one of them, in common with the school I last taught at, display boards are being denuded of colour. Instead, children will be able to bask in the glory … Continue reading Decolourising Education
I've been busy getting a couple of albums ready for release. The first one was a collection of songs based on some of my favourite texts from the Good Book - "Songs from the Word" https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nP8tp_b3mXzkYWIt9bSBeLPKhhOX5tREw https://open.spotify.com/album/41PHEYtsI4vxNeOzFrYdOH?si=8a_zyHx5R8art3PaXUXq_Q Then, more recently, I released my purely instrumental album "Moons of Jupiter" - full of sweeping cosmic melodies … Continue reading New Releases
Back in 2008 I composed a musical for Easter, following the events of the last week in the life of Jesus Christ. It was all part of the "Hope 08" churches together activities we saw that year. It was performed twice, in my church and also in a local school, by the members and soloists … Continue reading Hope Rising
John Williams composed three scores in 1989, the year I turned 19. One of them was the searing score for "Born on the Fourth of July", for director Oliver Stone. This was the first score Williams would provide for a Stone film, and he would follow it up with two further scores in the early … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life: 1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
"Some of us paint for pleasure" I spoke at the monthly meeting of a local art group recently, and I spent some time talking through my experiences of selling artwork and other income streams I use to pay the bills. I'm fortunate in being able to spend so much of my working week creating, whether … Continue reading Work… for Pleasure
Continuing in my occasional blog entries reviewing one score by the wonderful John Williams for every year of my life, we come to 1988, the year I turned 18, and the score to The Accidental Tourist. By this year, I'd been an ardent fan for about 4 years, having discovered that the same person who … Continue reading The Accidental Tourist
Canvas has a bit of a dark side. It has what I call the wicked weave. I'm always learning as an artist. I never want to reach a point where I can say "I know it all." If I ever reach that point, I may as well stop painting. I want to share with you … Continue reading The Wicked Weave
One thing I am often asked as someone who writes both music and lyrics is, "What do you do first? The music or the words?" And it's not as easy a question to answer as perhaps it should be. Because it hinges on the very process of creating something, and this is a process which … Continue reading What Comes First – Lyrics or Music?
As many of my readers will be aware, I am a composer as well as an artist, and I've noticed that for me, there are some key differences to the way my brain functions in both pursuits. The first is that when I'm creating music, I don't easily get bored. I can keep working away … Continue reading Ignite Great Brain Activity when Painting
I can't leave 1987 with just a look at "Empire of the Sun", which was the focus of my last blog entry in my ongoing look at a John Williams score for every year of my life. "The Witches of Eastwick" was the other remarkable score by Williams that year - it's just too great … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life: 1987 The Witches of Eastwick
I'm sure many people would disagree with me on this statement. They might see themselves as not owning a single artistic bone in their body. But I truly believe that anyone can learn to draw, and to paint. However, just as some athletic sorts will always have a head-start on us lesser mortals, I do … Continue reading Anyone can learn Art
Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings I released this, my 5th album, last week. It's been a very long time coming. I actually began working on some of the pieces on this album way back in about 1989, (always a Tolkien nut!) Then, when I heard that Peter Jackson was making the Lord of … Continue reading Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings
Oh no! What do I do? In 1987, the year I turned 17, John Williams released two fantastic soundtrack albums, and I truly don't know which one I love more. That year was the year of "The Witches of Eastwick" and "The Empire of the Sun". Both are phenomenal scores. I fell in love with … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life: 1987 – Empire of the Sun
I love bridges. I think they're extremely beautiful. Especially if they are a good traditional arched structure. There is something very perfect about an arched bridge spanning a river, or a valley. And I'm not alone. Some of the famous bridges of the world have been the mainstay of photographers and artists for years. Like … Continue reading Bridges
The year I turned 16, a film was released which I didn't see at the time, and I'm not sure I have ever watched in its entirety. The year I was sixteen (sweet sixteen and never been kissed, but that's another story) my mother died, and I probably had other things on my mind. In … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1986 – Spacecamp
I hope those of you who read my blog on all things artistic and musical find it insightful and interesting (at least on the odd occasion!) I never thought I'd enjoy writing a blog as much as I do. It's not always clear when I start an entry what it will be about - I … Continue reading News! Read All About It!
They say that size doesn't matter. But I have to disagree, to a certain extent. When an artist creates a new piece of artwork, one of the first things they will need to think about is how large the piece is going to be. This of course is decided partly by what the work is … Continue reading Small is Beautiful
"What on earth is that?" I hear you ask. Well, it's something I've only ever tried once, but I'm going to start using again. It's all about laying a base coat on a canvas, often over the original drawing marks. Many artists use brown, others use orange. I suppose it's about using a colour which … Continue reading Imprimatura
OK, I'm cheating a little here. There was no score by John Williams in 1985. It was the first year since 1960 that didn't see a new score by Williams. Many of the years since that time had seen numerous scores. That tells you something about his work ethic, and how sought after he was. … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life – 1985 – The River
I'm always learning as an artist. One thing I'm learning at the moment which I thought I'd share with you is about where to start laying your colours down on a canvas. You see, when I first started painting on canvas with acrylics a few years ago, I treated them very much like watercolours, where … Continue reading Hints and Tips on Painting Trees
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas took a different direction with Indiana Jones in the sequel to 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark". For one, the film is actually a prequel, with the action taking place in 1935, mainly set in India (after a short prelude in China). This was apparently to avoid using the Nazis … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life – 1984 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
I want to share with you some of the things that happen in the creation of new artwork. Stage 1 Firstly, I have to decide what exactly I am going to commit to paper or canvas. And that is not as easy as it sounds. I take huge numbers of photographs, and so the first thing … Continue reading The Process of a Painting
Just before Christmas I had the wonderful experience of watching The Return of the Jedi screened with a live orchestra playing the score. I'd seen the first two films in the saga in the same way a few years ago - and this one was held back a year by the pandemic. It's a curious … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my life – 1983 Return of the Jedi
Most of us, I am sure, have at some point or another looked up at the clouds and imagined the animals we can see in their shapes. This has got a name. It's called pareidolia. Can you see the two cats fighting below? Or is that just me? I don't know about you, but I … Continue reading Clouds
E.T: I remember clearly going to see it for the first time, at the age of twelve. I remember seeing the posters, some of which had a boy and a... thing lying on hospital beds surrounded by plastic sheets, and I wondered what on earth I was going to see. And then the lights went … Continue reading A John Williams score for every year of my life – 1982 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. -Leonardo da Vinci
Sharing this from a blog I follow. Isn't it wonderful? Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.All things break. And all things can be mended.Not with time, as they say, but with intention.So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you. ~ L.R. Knost
When I was a young artist, I greatly admired the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They were a group of young idealistic Victorians who painted art to educate and improve their peers. They looked back to a time in Art History when, it seemed to them, art had been about improving the morality of its … Continue reading Hidden in Plain Sight
I've been doing some online training this week with a rather wonderful French lady called Gavriella. It's all been about how to attract customers as an artist. It's most definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone! You see, as an artist, I have one major weakness. I'm British, and we British don't like to … Continue reading Out of the Comfort Zone
I thought I'd share 5 fun facts about me today: 1. I never have a cup of coffee near when I'm painting. Artists will understand! Ask me if you want to know why. 2. I have these ridiculous glasses (basically magnifying glasses attached to a head clamp) which I wear when doing really detailed work. … Continue reading Fun Facts About Me as an Artist
With this, the first in the series of Indiana Jones films, John Williams created yet another outstanding opus - that surrounding the wisecracking, whip-swinging, fedora-wearing hero and sometimes archaeologist, Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford may have played the titular hero (and it's a wonder that despite his resemblances and affinities to a certain smuggler in a … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1981 – The Raiders of the Lost Ark
I'm working on a new album release, which will contain some songs which are 25 to 30 years old. Some of them were written when I was very young, and before I'd really become the person I am. In some ways, they reflect my black and white view of the world back then. As we … Continue reading How far to update old songs?
I suffer from George Lucas Syndrome. Now before you all grab your medical encyclopaedias to look that up, actually, it does exist, but not in the way I mean it. Apparently the urban meaning is "A situation in which sci-fi movies often sacrifice good-quality acting and a coherent story in order to milk in the special effects." But that's not the … Continue reading When is it Finished?
I'm sure all creatives, people who try to make a living from their creations, suffer this at some point. And it's not, by the way, confined to writers. I've been fighting with a new song all day, and it still isn't playing ball. My ideas sound hackneyed, flat. And that's just to me. I wouldn't … Continue reading Writer’s Block
Well, it's that time of year again - I start thinking about Christmas and the New Year. It may seem ridiculously early, but for those of us who are in the business of designing cards and calendars, our work began some time ago. So I have my beautiful A3 sized wall-hanging Calendars for sale on … Continue reading A3 Calendars
It's a while since I wrote one of these posts on the work of my favourite composer, John Williams. I've had Covid, but that's not why. The truth is, since I left teaching to become wholly freelance with my own music and art, I haven't had a great deal of time to write. And that's … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back
Apparently most of the UK population have put on an average of half a stone on over lockdown. That's certainly true of me, and I'm working doubly hard to try to lose it again. But like the old meme says - "I keep losing weight, but it keeps finding me again". But if I'm honest, … Continue reading The Art of Putting Weight On
I took a risk at Easter. I left teaching, in order to give my time to painting and to music composition. So far, it's been the best decision I could have made, because I've had more work than I know what to do with. In fact, I've been so busy doing paid work for other … Continue reading My life as a Freelancer
I can't wait to read it, and the cover does all the right things - it whets the appetite, gives me questions which need answers.
There was a painting I did last year which I thought was pretty good. I thought it worked, and I like the amount of detail I'd been able to use. The source photo hadn't been that great, but I thought the end product was worth the effort. I look at that painting now, and all … Continue reading The Urge to be Better
Some time ago I started writing pieces of music which reflected my love of the cosmic, of science fiction. I chose as my theme the Moons of Jupiter. I don't intend to write music for every single one of them, as there are about 79 at last count. However, I added a new moon fairly … Continue reading Thebe – from The Moons of Jupiter
Well, since I last blogged, there have been some changes. Well, one in particular. I took the step in Easter of this year of leaving teaching. So I am now (and have been for the past one and a half months) a full-time creative freelancer. So what is it like? Well, I've been fortunate. Since … Continue reading Life Changes
Dracula, scored in 1979, is perhaps one of john Williams' lesser known works. It is however a mighty work, built mainly around the lush and dangerous theme Williams provided for the central character. This theme features firstly in the Main Title and Storm Sequence : https://youtu.be/SEAbPQN9mFI John Williams has said that he tries not to … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 10: 1979 – Dracula
So I've reached the year I turned eight. In that year, John Williams was called upon to score a number of feature films, with wide-ranging subject matter - from superheroes to a man-eating shark. I simply cannot choose one score to epitomise his output that year, so I shall choose a theme (motif) or two … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life 9: A bit of a mix, 1978
I've been teaching some year 5 classes about melody recently, helping them to realise that good melodies don't just happen by accident. It's not that composers slavishly follow rules to compose memorable tunes, because most of the time, a good melody does present itself as if my magic. But there are certain truths I suspect … Continue reading What makes a good melody?
This week I completed the fourth in my series of pieces inspired by the idea of the Moons of Jupiter. The introduction to this opus can be found here https://adamtucker.art/2020/11/25/a-new-little-musical-venture-the-moons-of-jupiter So here is the next instalment - Europa. This one is the biggest of the pieces, not just in length but also in breadth of … Continue reading New Moon (of Jupiter)
Do I dare? What on earth can I say about this magnum opus which single handedly transformed film scoring, just as the film it accompanies reinvented the blockbuster. So much has already been written about the score John Williams wrote for George Lucas' little space opera - I certainly couldn't say anything new or improve … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life 8b. 1977 – Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope