Art That Blows 2020

21" x 21"


bass drum hoop, back panel of 3/4 size cello, spray paint, acrylic paint, matte medium, varnish, clarinet screws, clarinet key posts, sheet music

This painting was my submission for Art That Blows 2020.

to pass or move over, along, or through.
to pass along or go across something.
the act of passing across, over, or through.

When I selected an enormous box of assorted broken instrument pieces in January 2020, I had no idea what I was going to create. Because meaning is so foundational to my art, I had to figure out what I was going to communicate before I could start laying out anything specific.

The painting series I did for Art That Blows in 2019 consisted of Transcend, Trajectory, and Transformation. Taken as a whole, it’s the story of a journey. While reflecting on that series I decided I wanted to continue that theme: a journey of forward movement through personal growth and the landscape of life. Once a musician, always a musician, and the self-confidence that comes from mastering a musical instrument has impact that extends much further than band camp. The refrain “music saved my life” is one I hear often.

I always begin with thumbnail sketches, so I sketched several layout ideas based on the materials I had chosen, which culminated in a path winding into mountains, in abstract. While the final piece can often veer pretty far from initial sketches, this painting came out extremely close to what I’d envisioned, despite the logistics around how I was going to use the materials I had selected.

I used clarinet screws to create Transcend, but the layout for this painting was much more painstaking. I had to find precise lengths for every screw to make the rows the correct length.

The path is made of sheet music (the song is Exodus in B flat). The path and individually white screws were the bulk of actual (hand) painting, since most of this project uses spray paint (Montana Black/Montana Gold).

Many thanks to my dad (and assembly help from my uncle) for technical assistance on an extremely tricky project, as well as access to large power tools and copious amounts of epoxy. Crazy ideas like mounting a cello inside a drum hoop require brainstorming how to laminate semi-curved wood backing pieces for mounting, then finding the best way to attach everything so that it’s structurally sound, all without damaging the art itself. I like overkill when building things, and the only delicate thing about this piece are the coats of spray paint on the screws and hoop itself. The D-rings for hanging are rated for 100 lbs. (this probably weighs about 5 lbs.).

I’m extremely happy with how this came out, and after 6 months of work a little sad to see it go.

Traverse Art That Blows mixed media painting by Sarah M. Schumacher

Sold at Art That Blows gala to raise money for Band of Angels on October 1, 2020.