week 17: Mark Payne's

The Art

“Drifting” by Mark Payne
Oil on canvas, 1.3 x 1.1m (Sold) 
Available in signed limited edition giclee art print online via Mark’s website
Mark Payne's "Drifting"

Mark Payne’s “Drifting”

The Music

“Being Carried” (6:37 mins) © Helen Davey
(for solo piano)


Mark Payne

The theme of this painting is of relaxation and meditation. In our lives, how often do we fully unwind and dream?  As our minds need to drift in order to keep emotional balance and happiness, what better way than to float downstream. No agendas no deadlines. There’s a place within us all that deserves to be nurtured like this.
detail from "Drifting" by Mark Payne

detail from “Drifting” by Mark Payne

Helen’s Music

During our phone chat, Mark told me about a time that inspired this artwork, when he was floating downstream – alone in a boat – on a river in Eastern Australia. He decided to take in the oars, lie back and just drift. Letting the water carry him. I was so taken with the idea of being so unencumbered. How to paint it into sound?

I decided to use one instrument and keep it slowly meandering with a recurring theme to carry us forward. I chose grand piano for it’s expansive layers of resonance, sonorities and overtones, to offer room for the listener to drift into their own space;  and I used predominantly one scale – the phrygian mode – as the ‘vessel’ to relax into, in a slow, lilting 3/8 tempo.

Helen's Piano

Helen’s Piano

I welcome what you hear/see in these artworks via the comments section below;
please share this around to anyone interested in art / music via the icons below.
If you fancy just listening, there’s more of my music here
Thanks for drifting by and wafty wishes to you,


15 comments to week 17: Mark Payne’s “Drifting”

  • Helen it is so sublime. It makes me want to tear up. You have successful captured the essence of my piece of art. I can only hope now that my art does your beautiful musical composition justice. I will put it out there. Thank you.
    Big HugXX M

    • Roland Stuber

      Dear Mark
      “want me to tear up”!
      I cannot say this any better with words.
      Helen’s Music piece makes me cry and YOUR artwork makes me dream
      of a better way to deal with my life!

      I want to buy a copy of this beautiful painting. For me to enjoy!

  • Helen

    OH WOW! WHat a blast! Thrilled you like it so much Mark.
    Goody, goody, goody 🙂

  • Helen and Mark, thanks for this soothing meditation in my morning. My father played a grand piano everyday of my growing up, so I appreciate your beautiful composition.

  • This is right up my alley–or stream(?!) Brilliant to have just the layered voice of the piano for this purpose and this image. Inherently something melancholy about it, but I can’t put my finger on why. The phrygian mode? The sense of solitude and the simplicity of the shapes and colors in the painting? The meandering rhythm… maybe the whole idea of slowing down and just “being” feels lonely, since it lays one bare to one’s own interior– despite it’s tendency to be connective… .

    PS What happened to your fish?

    • Thank you Bronle; the phrygian mode provides some of the melancholic mood, but maybe you heard my own craving for that “just being” with my own interior too.
      PS – As for those fish… well to be honest, I thought they’d found their way into Mark’s painting and disappeared downstream forever! However, they’ve mysteriously returned to this page, safe in their little pool, waiting to be fed.

  • Jane Osborn

    Helen, this is really a very amazing and beautiful piece. I have spent a very laid back and restful Easter indulging, dipping in and out and catching up on your project 52! What a wonderful project – I admire the challenge you have set yourself and how you are turning it week by week into these beautiful pieces each one a stand out WOW and I love the inspired subject matter of wimsy and moods, time and emotion – I have now done the infinitely sensible thing and subscribed, so it will magically come to me in my inbox as you seem to so magically compose AND play AND sing! You are so very clever. Now I can’t wait for the next delight! Jxxx

  • Helen, I just shared this link to your blog with a young Facebook friend who is a visual artist and a musician. I think she will be inspired by your 52 week project.

  • Roland Stuber

    I LOVE this piece! And I find the work of Mark equally wonderful!
    THIS is truly the very best combination of a painting and music
    that makes the two absolutely awesome.

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