Music and art. Art and music. For me, the two are closely intertwined. Right now, as I write this, I am listening to the sound track to Defending Your Life.
In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, divorce wasn’t as common as it is today. I grew up an only child of a divorced single mother. I would always hear whispers, “Oh, her parents are divorced”. However, I was very lucky. My parents were really happier apart…and so was I. Growing up with my mother in a one bedroom apartment, the music played 24/7. I didn’t realize it then, but my mother used music as “background” and so it became that way for me.
I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear Frank Sinatra singing Granada, or Jack Jones singing Wives and Lovers. George Gershwin and Cole Porter became my idols and in a way, my friends. During the angst of my teenage years, I turned to their music.
In Philadelphia, on Friday nights, there was a radio show called Friday with Frank. It would be three hours of Frank Sinatra singing, culminating with him singing I Have Dreamed from The King and I. But here’s the thing – while my contemporaries were listening to and loving The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Buffalo Springfield, I was listening to Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Mathis. I also listened to the music of my generation and I grew to love a lot of that too. But, I was definitely a child of the previous generation’s music.
My dream when I was young was to be an actress on Broadway or in film. So, at age 8, I grew very passionate about movie soundtracks and Broadway songs. Anyone who has ever listened to Movies Broadway Singers and Beyond can tell you how much I love movie soundtracks and Broadway songs.
When I went to college at New York University, I was lucky enough to have a roommate who was an artist and who loved music as much as I did. She was very wealthy and had all of the Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand albums. Before the age of technology, she was one of the few students who brought a stereo with her to the dorm. I was also fortunate that she had a boyfriend back in Passaic, New Jersey and she visited him every weekend from Thursday to Monday morning. I had the room and the stereo all to myself. This was Eden! I was in paradise!
I got married after I graduated from college and although my husband loved music, he, in no way, had my passion for it. What he did have, was a passion for consumer electronics. Finding the perfect stereo and speakers lit up his life. We were a perfect match! He picked out the stereo and I chose the music.
And so, I began collecting all of the music I had loved as a child. To my husband’s dismay, the collecting never stopped. He’ll always ask me, “Don’t you have enough yet?” For all of you like me, we know there is never enough and it never stops! There is nothing like hearing a new song that you just have to have!
I became an actress and a writer in my twenties. While I love to act, writing gave me the freedom I needed to control my time. My book, The Millennium Challenge, was published in 1984.
I also wrote musicals and I was asked to participate in a prestigious musical workshop program in Los Angeles. I would have had to travel a good part of the time to participate. Since my daughter was only 4, and I was a homebody, I declined the opportunity.
Life and Circumstance
We all make plans; we work and sometimes everything pans out, but sometimes life just happens…circumstance…the unexpected. It must have been a card player who once said, “You play the hand you’re dealt”.
When I was 39 years old, I came down with the chicken pox. I had even been given 5 shots to prevent this from happening. In those days, there wasn’t a chicken pox vaccine. They had a vaccine but it couldn’t prevent the chicken pox, it would only make it less severe and you had to get it from the CDC. On the 21st day of my exposure, I came down with a severe case.
Life opened an unexpected door. Healing took a long time, but in that time I became an artist. Always social, I became more solitary and while I loved to write, I began to see colors. So I began experimenting with my daughter’s art supplies. I became a glitter artist. I collected glitter from everywhere and got to work. I also did ceramics. I see beauty in every face and I love to paint and embellish. Then, I became a voracious hunter of glitter at Michael’s Art Supply. I was always looking for something new, something exciting.
One day we were at an out of town speech competition with my daughter. I suddenly noticed a Ben Franklin art supply store. We didn’t have any in Phoenix and I started to hyperventilate. My assistant and I walked several blocks to get to the store. By the time I was finished shopping, my assistant and I could barely walk home, as I was so weighted down by all these new glitters! I couldn’t wait to get home to begin work…in my art room.
This was when Art and Music met each other for me. As a writer, I wrote in quiet. As an artist, the music played and it was the happiest I had ever been. Art and music became synonymous, and to this day I can’t have one without the other.
It is now about 30 years since I became an artist, and in that time my music collection has grown to over 15,000 pieces and I have completed more than 500 pieces of art.
The art you see on this blog was created by me at different moments in my life. The music you hear on Movies Broadway Singers and Beyond is what inspired me to do it! And now I am happy to be able to share both the art and the music with the public.
So to all the musicians who have inspired me, thank you. To all my fellow artists, let your creativity flow! We can’t always control what happens to us in life, and happiness comes in moments, fragments of time. Enjoy your creative spirits and I hope the music inspires you. To see more of my art, visit www.SherryGoldbergArt.com.