Painting, for me, makes time disappear. I look up and hours are gone, and I lost myself in the work. This is the beauty of doing what you love. It also poses the question – what do I listen while I work?
Hours alone in the studio can become lonely if you let them… OR, you can connect to humanity through music, literature, and meditation – all while working away.
Good playlists also lend themselves to tasks like cleaning, cooking, crafting, driving, and flying.
Here are my favorite things to listen to while I paint! They add a rich texture to my day, and I think it’s pretty cool we live in a time when this is possible! I mean, what did the old masters even listen to?
Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Guided Meditations
I’m obsessed with these, and listen to them more than anything else. Each meditation moves me toward daily revelations, gratitude, and inner peace.
They offer each 21-day session free when first released, so follow Oprah or Deepak on Facebook to be alerted.
I recommend Desire and Destiny, Finding Your Flow, Manifesting True Success, Manifesting Grace and Gratitude, Perfect Health, Miraculous Relationships, Become What You Believe, and Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life.
Not for everyone, but if you know, you know. I’ve been to over 120 Phish shows and adore the band and community. So putting on a Phish show immediately connects me with those life-altering moments of true bliss and joy. There’s nothing like it!
If you’re a curious first-timer and want to give them a listen, start with the albums Billy Breathes, Rift, and Picture of Nectar. From there, listen to a live YEM (You Enjoy Myself).
My favorite Phish songs make a funky dance party, like Martian Monster, Gumbo, Ghost, Moma Dance, 2001, Camel Walk, Gotta Jibboo, Weekapaug, Tube, Meat, Cities, Alumni Blues, Get Back on the Train, Meatstick, Crosseyed and Painless, My Soul, Wolfman’s Brother, Timber Ho, Sand, Wombat… anyway… I could do this all day!
The Oakland Tribune called Phish the Golden Gods of Rock and Roll and they’re absolutely right. I happen to be in the right place at the right time to get swept away by the phenomena that is Phish, but again – not for everyone.
Downtempo, Dub, Trip-Hop, and Acid Jazz
I love downtempo music. In college I opened an underground music collective and we had a Dub and Downtempo night. It’s really hypnotic and beautiful.
Specific artist suggestions (downtempo, trip-hop, acid jazz): Mark Farina, Bonobo, Thievery Corporation, Groove Armada, Zero 7, Guts, Morcheeba, and (dub): Prince Jammy, King Tubby, Lee Scratch Perry, Scientist, Yabby U.
R. Carlos Nakai
Native American flute music. Trust me on this one.
I like conscious hip hop from the mid-90s. My favs: Common, Guru, The Roots, and People Under the Stairs. Lookup The Rub to download hours-long mixtapes of primo 90s hip hop.
The best music from my childhood! Prince, Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, David Bowie, New Order, The Cure, Cyndi Lauper, and Tears for Fears.
Cumbia’s a dancey, Latin America music. Quantic is my favorite artist.
I recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, where she advises artists how to take the next step in their specific journey.
I adore all of Brene Brown’s work, and the best starting point is The Power of Vulnerability. More great authors include Pema Chodran, HH the Dalai Lama, Malcolm Gladwell, Deepak Chopra, and Susan Cain.
I recommend the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Harry Potter by JK Rowling, and my guiltiest pleasure is the Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer!
As you can see my tastes are all over the place, but I’ve spent years chasing music and honing my playlists to be the ultimate! I hope I can give you some inspiration for yours.
And please, let me know if you have any more suggestions for mine! What have YOU been listening to lately?
♥ ~ Meghan Oona