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Musical Paintings by Marilyn Nelson

An abstract painting with swirls of purple, yellow and blue"Octopus's Garden" - The Beatles, oil and acrylic on canvas

Marilyn Nelson, is our featured artist today! Marilyn is currently working mainly in abstract painting, taking the inspiration for her images from music. These musical paintings vary widely in colour and tone, but all are painted with swirling, carefree brush strokes that seem to mimic the movements of dance.

An abstract work meant to emulate the feeling of K.D. Lang's Hallelujah"Hallelujah" - K.D. Lang, oil on canvas

It’s easy to see where the title for this series – Subliminal Reflections - came from. Music is often thought of as a powerful vehicle for subliminal thoughts and messages, and it’s interesting to imagine Marilyn’s feelings and inspiration developing on the canvas as the song is playing. On Marilyn’s website – – there are paintings inspired by the work of Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and more. These works are in a way, collaborations between musical artist and a visual artist.  


Screen capture of a gallery of paintings on Marilyn Nelson's websiteSubliminal Reflections on

Marilyn’s other explorations include rural landscapes, painted in both an impressionist style, as well as with a darker, more mysterious tone.


An impressionist-style painting of a rural farm in SaskatchewanEarly Days of Farming in Saskatchewan, acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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