Listening.  My Studio Soundtrack.

Being an artist, especially a painter, requires a lot of alone time in the studio.  Solitude can be blissfully peaceful and lovely but it can also be a bit lonely.  To stave off that feeling ( and to get the creative juices flowing ), I like to choose a studio soundtrack that fits the mood of my work for the day.

My work often begins with the inspiring wild places Mr. F and I visit.  Eddie Vedder‘s Into the Wild soundtrack captures the haunting majesty of big mountains and vast landscapes.  I even created a Pandora* station based on the soundtrack, filled with wilderness-evoking music by Nirvana, Iron & Wine, Nick Drake, etc.   It’s my favorite music for working on large canvases– mellow but full of energy.

*side note– is Pandora still a thing?  There is probably a better source for online listening, but I’m still using Pandora. I’m uncool like that.

My Studio Soundtrack | Into the Wild | artsy forager #art #music #artiststudio

When working on smaller pieces, I bring the energy down a notch or two.  The Innocence Mission  provides a dreamy, misty atmosphere that gets me in the mood to settle in and lose myself in creating small beauties.

My Studio Soundtrack | Innocence Mission | artsy forager #art #music #artiststudio

And then there are times when music just doesn’t fit.  Usually when I’m gessoing or at the very beginning of new work, I find myself craving conversation and podcasts fill the bill.  My favorite these days is Danielle Krysa‘s ( aka The Jealous Curator ) Art for Your Ear.

My Studio Soundtrack | Art For Your Ear | artsy forager #art #music #artiststudio

Danielle has a relaxed, easy interview style that makes it feel like you’re chatting with friends over cocktails.  Seriously fun and such good information.  Artists getting real.

I’ve also recently started listening to Cheryl Strayed‘s Dear Sugar Radio.  I connected deeply with Strayed’s book, Wild and the ways our journeys parallel– the loss of a beloved mother to cancer, the love of hiking, how we’ve both found ourselves literally and figuratively in the Pacific Northwest.

Studio Soundtrack | Dear Sugar Radio | artsy forager #studio #art #podcasts

Fresh Air is also a favorite, along with John Dalton‘s interviews with artists.  I like to concentrate visually on the work, so I try not to watch videos in the studio while I paint but during breaks I love the Art Documentaries You Tube channel, especially the What Do Artists Do All Day series– the Tracy Emin episodes are especially wonderful.

What are you listening to these days?  Any inspiring podcasts I should know about?  Beautiful and beauty-filled music to inspire?


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  • Pippin Schupbach

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PODCAST!!! KEXP in Seattle did has a podcast in which they break the Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique album. They play every song that is sampled on the album, which takes over 13 hours! It’s really cool.I too love Terry Gross and wish she was on NPR all the time. I also love to stream, KCRW (LA), KDHX (STL), and KEXP (Seattle). Thanks for sharing!

    • Artsy Forager

      Thank you for the rec, Pippin! That would be perfect for a long day in the studio.

  • Elaine S.

    Thanks for the recs, Artsy and Pippin. I just finished watching the Tracey Emin video. I will watch and listen to more. I love watching the idiosyncrasies of people, especially artists. What do they do all day, indeed! The web has given us such access to insights like never before. Valuable stuff.

  • Oh! I love Art for Your Ear! It’s so great!!!! Podcasts I also love to listen to: The Fresh Rag Show by Dave Conrey, Smart Creative Women by Monica Lee, Artists Helping Artists by Leslie Saeta, and The Unmistakable Creative with Srini Rao.

    • Artsy Forager

      Thank you for sharing your faves, Megan! Going to check those out!