Friday, 27 March 2015 15:01

2015 Feature Artist Mark McFerron: For the Love of Music

2015 Master Musicians Festival Artwork 2015 Master Musicians Festival Artwork Mark McFerron

Kentucky Artist Mark McFerron is MMF's 2015 feature visual artist. As we have every year, MMF will auction his original watercolor to help support and continue one of Kentucky's premier music festivals.

What follows is Mark's statement about his piece "For the Love of Music."

Why do we love music so much?

My mind was filled with ideas when I first decided to work on a project for the Master Musicians Festival. I wondered why I loved music so much, and recollected my positive interaction with so many other fans at concerts and outdoor festivals. Music is so powerful, and can be shared by so many regardless of their station in life. It touches our soul and brings us together, and my desire was to create that deep feeling on canvas. Musician and producer Ethan Hein said, “We are attracted to music for the same reason we’re attracted to fire: it’s been a critical survival tool for us for hundreds of thousands of years.”

So how does this artist capture the love of music on canvas?

I am pure Kentucky and the musical influence from this State has been incredible. I wanted to pay tribute to Kentucky and its Masters of Bluegrass, Gospel, Folk, Blues, Rock and Country music. A simple image of the Commonwealth was not enough, so I used Kentucky Bourbon and walnut stains mixed into my primary dyes as my painting media. The uniqueness of bourbon is that it creates an intense brilliance with the beautiful contradiction of a subtle caramel stain. Controlling the result by controlling the evaporating alcohol was a refrain that became both challenging and rewarding. The natural walnut stain locked its color into the canvas, and its quickening intensified the movement of my brush strokes. It required rhythm and timing, freedom and pause…like all great music does. I chose a view that emulates the perspective of the fan who has been courted by the band. I used a tie-dye effect to pay homage to music festivals like Woodstock, Ravinia, and Central Park. I used the graphic of musical notes in a heart symbol to communicate the relationship between the musical artist and fan. It is a love relationship, and so that is why I painted “For the Love of Music.”

Mark T. McFerron



  • Master Musicians Festival is with Bee Taylor.#mmf25

  • Master Musicians Festival was live.Live #mmf25 announcement! #mastermusicfest


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