CNMN > Projects > Passage Through Time — Creating Music-Inspired Visual Art

Deirdre Potash

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  • Pre-recorded or live music
  • 5 to 12 years of age
  • 13 to 18 years of age
  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Intergenerational

1 hour visual art workshop

  • Education
  • Community associations
  • Diversity
  • Ecology
  • Family

Passage Through Time — Creating Music-Inspired Visual Art


GOAL: to devel­op a deep­er appre­ci­a­tion of music and the visu­al arts and how they com­pli­ment each oth­er. In this par­tic­u­lar work­shop, par­tic­i­pants were inspired by the music of Jab­bour, using the music as a spark for their art.

ACTIVITY: Art mak­ing is enriched when lay­ered with a vari­ety of expe­ri­ences and techniques. 

First, a musician(s) presents their  his­to­ry and music, exchang­ing ideas that add anoth­er lay­er to the cre­ative process. In this case, Guil­laume Jab­bour describes his band, which includes Bill Gos­sage, Carl Rufh and Bill Col­lier. The group’s iden­ti­ty solid­i­fied dur­ing their tour of British Colum­bia in 2015, when the musi­cians began to under­stand that they had found their place on the Cana­di­an folk music scene, iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves par­tic­u­lar­ly with the offi­cial lan­guage minori­ties of the coun­try: the Eng­lish-speak­ing com­mu­ni­ties of Que­bec and the French-speak­ing com­mu­ni­ties of Cana­da. Refer to the video for how Guil­laume does this.

Next, we learn about the art tech­nique to be used in draw­ing and paint­ing. Then we lis­ten to the music and draw. Final­ly, we reflect and get and give feed­back. Next time, choose anoth­er musi­cians’ work to inspire your creativity.


  •       deep­er listening
  •       height­ened senses
  •       increased aware­ness of the con­nec­tion between music and visu­al art.
  •       ease, con­fi­dence, and joy in lis­ten­ing to music and cre­at­ing art.
  •       deep­ened rela­tion­ships amongst group mem­bers through shared expe­ri­ence and shar­ing artworks.
  •       a greater sense of con­nec­tion and ensem­ble with artist, musi­cian, and participants.

MATERIALS: paper with pen­cil, crayons, coloured pen­cils, mark­ers, oil pas­tels etc. and or paint and brush.


  1. Lis­ten to the music while think­ing about the theme, Pas­sage Through Time. What does it make you think about? What images or mem­o­ries come to mind? Using the music and the theme as inspi­ra­tion, cre­ate a nar­ra­tive draw­ing – a draw­ing that tells a visu­al story.
  2. Let us draw. I am using the exam­ple of draw­ing with a pen­cil. Pen­cil marks, Com­po­si­tion, Abstract and fig­u­ra­tive are con­cepts in paint­ing and draw­ing. Refer to the video for exam­ples. You choose your mate­ri­als of choice. Here are con­cepts to consider:
  • Pen­cil marks – Exper­i­ment with the side and point of the pen­cil, increase, and decrease pres­sure. You can cre­ate light, medi­um, dark, thin, and thick lines.
  • Com­po­si­tion in a draw­ing is the ‘what am I going to put and where am I going to place it on the paper’. When play­ing with com­po­si­tion, remem­ber that draw­ings can pass the edges of the paper and over­lap oth­er papers.
  • In draw­ing and paint­ing, abstract or non-fig­u­ra­tive is based on shape, tex­ture, colour, and val­ue (light and dark). Fig­u­ra­tive is based on a per­son, place, or thing. Fig­u­ra­tive abstrac­tion is a com­bi­na­tion of the two. Per­spec­tive – Objects that are clos­er usu­al­ly start at the bot­tom of the page, are big­ger with more detail and colour. The oppo­site is true for objects that are fur­ther on.

3. As you draw, peri­od­i­cal­ly stop the music, share thoughts, ideas and in process art­work to inspire each other.

4. When the music and art­works are fin­ished, share them and discuss.

You can pick any of Jabbour’s music as an inspi­ra­tion for visu­al cre­ation. Lis­ten to the music, what will you draw?

“Lis­ten­ing to the music was like tak­ing a peek into some­one’s life. I described it as “danc­ing through life”. The draw­ing start­ed with a bean (a cof­fee bean!) and evolved into a rain­bow dance burst­ing with new life. I real­ly enjoyed the art music class today.” Shan­non, work­shop participant

*Please con­tact Deirdre at  if you’d like to know more about the project.

To hear more of Jab­bour:

More links…

Jab­bour Round the Clock Album · 2016:

Les Fruits · Jab­bour ℗ 2019 Jab­bour Released on: 2019-05-13 Auto-gen­er­at­ed by YouTube:

Hon­ey · Jab­bour ℗ 2018 Jab­bour Released on: 2018-04-13 Auto-gen­er­at­ed by YouTube:

He Does­n’t Need You Jab­bour Album Round the Clock Licensed to YouTube by CD Baby (on behalf of Jab­bour), CD Baby Sync Pub­lish­ing:


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