The Song in My Head

Music to Paint By

Like many artists, quite often when I paint, I like to have music playing.  Now, many artist have specific type of music they listen to every time they paint, it might be classical, it might be jazz, it might be heavy metal, but most artists I’ve talked to have a very specific type of music they prefer to paint by.  But I like a variety.

Sometimes I paint to the soundtrack of Les Miserables, sometimes I paint to jazz, quite often I paint to the sound of classic rock or surf rock.  Honestly though, I like to choose a play list that mixes many different types, from easy listening to rock to jazz to country, and when I am the one who selects the songs for the playlist to paint by, there is one song that almost always makes its way into the mix.

Often, even if I do not have any music playing, I’ll find this song playing in my head.


The song in my head.

The song that plays over and over in my head when I paint in silence, is “Vincent” by Don McLean, if you’ve never heard it, it is song about my favorite painter of all time, Vincent van Gogh.  The lyrics and music are soothing and smooth, but sad, and the images that the song brings to mind are the beautiful paintings of this revolutionary master in post impressionism.


Vincent, by Don McLean

Rather than just tell you all about it though, I’ll just share the song in the form of this YouTube video, complete with a slideshow of Vincent’s paintings.

What About You?


What song runs through your head, while you do whatever it is you do? Click To Tweet

So, what about you?  If you’re an artist, do you listen to music while you create?  If so, what kind?  Let me know in the comments.

If you’re not an artist, do you listen to music while you do whatever it is you do?  Please tell me about it in the comments, tell me what you do, and what music you listen to while doing it.

Or if you have the sort of job that doesn’t allow for listening to music, what kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?  I’d love if you’d share with me.

5 Responses to The Song in My Head

  1. Avatar Anna Jeanine
    Anna Jeanine says:

    I love that song, too! And I often have a radio playing in my head, but like you mentioned, it plays a variety of songs.

  2. I may be unusual among most creatives, but when I am either writing, reading or taking photos, I do not like any music. I crave silence. I find music a distraction. At my job, some do listen to music on headphones to drown out noises, but, again, I do not do that.

  3. Van Gogh is one of my favorites, too. I often listen to music while I am writing. Strangely enough, the lyrics do not interfere with my ability, but enhance it. My approach is very ecclectic — sometimes it’s pop, country, classical, praise & worship, instrumental…it all depends on my mood and what kind of mood I am trying to elicit.

  4. I love that song and the painting! I don’t have any one song but every now and then I get one in my head and I sing it over and over. My favorite song is from Alabama band, “I’m In a Hurry”.

  5. Vicki, this post really made me think. Hmmm! What music do I like to have playing? For my healing work, it’s quiet classical, piano music or “New Age”. Same thing when I’m doing a painting. Your song was part of the soundtrack of my college years, and I remember it vividly. Also those times. Thanks for a provocative post!