Wednesday, November 18, 2015

World Premiere of "Painting Music"

Sandy Frazier, author of "The Mystic Artist" - has released her second full-length CD - "Painting Music." Described as "ArtRock" - each song is a Pop Cantata, a kind of poem set to music, colourful stories, like individual paintings. "PAINTING MUSIC is the theme of my life's work. I've written lots of songs about art and created lots of art about music."

You can now order CDs complete with original art, lyrics and full-color graphics here: ... or you can download at iTunes, Spotify, Google Play... and coming soon on Amazon Music!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Fragile Men

This is an old song... I wrote it so long ago and include it on my current record in dedication to my mother who loved it and always asked me to play it for her.  Listen live on SoundCloud.

The Fragile Men

The fragile men I know, I love with all my heart.
They hate like hell to admit when I am just as smart.
Their fragile hearts can break as easily as I do
and break at every chance they get when not admitting to.

The faults they have are like mine, though equal we are not.
When we fight I understand his strength is what I want.
We eat, we drink, we play together every day.
He stays the same as I grow fat when doing things his way.

The fragile men are greater as vegetarians.
When they can’t put away the drink, they seem less masculine.
Well, that’s the way society goes, and that’s the way they see…
a man is only strong and brave when he is not like she.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Blue Memories

Blue Memories is a song I wrote about my memories of Miami Beach as a youth.  I always wanted to be able to sing it even though it's not really in my range.  Thanks to my wonderful engineer and producer, I was finally able to record this song the way I'd always wanted to.

Listen live on Soundcloud.

Here are the lyrics:

In turquoise, aqua blue, I’m free — swimming in a crystal sea.
It is a replenishment — cold, refreshing, innocent.
Splashing in a sparkling pool, the stinging of my eyes is cruel
Yet underwater I can see long past my eternity.

I closed my eyes to a blood red light.
I lay in sand and dreamt of night,
the summer sun, the cocoa scent and the waters’ refreshment.

Splashing in the mist-filled skies,
the stinging of my salt-filled eyes;
my days of youth on the beach
are too far away to reach.

But when I breathe the cobalt skies,
when I gaze in sapphire eyes
and the jade aquamarine
turns to royal or blue-green.

Cerulean waters, phthalo deep are the memories I keep.
Hidden in the midnight blues are the secret underlying clues.

I love blue –

And now I have released the pain –
bleating in the pouring rain.
The doors’ flung open to a dazzling light;
the shock erupted from inside.

Splashing in a sparkling pool,
the stinging of my eyes is cruel
Yet underwater I can see
long past my eternity.

I love blue –

Saturday, October 10, 2015

John Lennon 75

I attended the opening champagne reception of The Art of John Lennon in Soho last night on what would have been John Lennon's 75th birthday at the AFA Gallery on Greene Street. It was the perfect Manhattan evening and great to hear all the old John Lennon and Beatles' songs while viewing many of the pictures I'd seen many years ago again.

Thanks for the memories, John!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Awakening

"The Awakening" - a song inspired by 'The Blue Birdby Maurice Maeterlinck - is a labour of artistic determination! Go here to listen now:

Here are the lyrics:

The Awakening

I burn the candle at both ends
in the forest where the lights go
when they are blown out.
My life could be the story
so beautiful from beginning to end.
But instead it stings my senses,
awakening in me
emotions so long dormant, so seldom seen.

It’s the flashing light of the awakening.

And this is the palace of happiness.
And these are the days of the daydream.
Go on to the night of the bedlam.
“Oh gaffer! Your blackbird is blue.”

Sound the note of infinity -
the note of a fragile phantasy.
So all the world’s a song.
It’s the war inside that tries to take me
and the helpless feeling God can’t wake me.
This black foul!
It’s the flashing light of the awakening.

Water cleans it all away.
Monster dreams disappear when the light comes on.
Rulers of my destiny
go away when I release them to the wind.
I’m drugged by fools! This black foul!
Weighted with malevolence!
This black foul!
Till I create no more.

When with the awakening, they let me live.
Let me live – truer to myself.

This moment contains all the love.
This moment contains all the hate.

Friday, September 11, 2015

"Torment Saint" By William Todd Schultz

Unlike the recent documentary, Torment Saint brings Elliott Smith into focus as a true American artist who made music simply because he loved music and was passionately moved by the musicians he admired.  I've read a lot of biographies in my life, but with the advent of YouTube at my disposal, reading these words while at the same time being able to listen to and watch all the performances and songs was exciting and inspiring.  

As a musician, myself, I understood the passion Elliott had for recording right from the start... his urgency to tape everything that popped into his head while the concept was still fresh and alive... the scuffling about - so young - from Radio Shacks to musicians' clearance houses trying to find any old equipment he could use - anything that would get the job done there and then... duplicating homemade cassettes and inserts with original art and photographs... trying to get those cassettes into the right hands.  

Schultz's empathetic, compassionate style is warm and heartfelt throughout; he made me smell the Portland rain and the NYC dive bars... he made me ebb and flow with Elliott's highs and lows.  He introduced me to all of his friends, his family and musicians - the characters and stories that inspired his songs. He knew Elliott lived his songs and the lyrics were his life story.

Elliott lived a short life that was filled to over-flow with experiences that take most of us a lifetime to have.  He was focused because he knew who he was and what he wanted to do; he knew his limitations and understood his talent and his shortcomings. Unlike most of the megastars today, he played all of his instruments and wrote, sang and performed his tracks. There was no pretending; he didn't care if he fit in, he didn't care if he was a hit.  He just knew what to do, how to do it and got it done. Elliott's site.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Amy! Amy! Amy!

The new film about the life of Amy Winehouse is almost unbearable to watch.  It seemed her entire life was filmed and videotaped... so you're able to actually watch her go from a young, gifted, vibrant girl to a skeletal, bulimic, drug addicted shell of herself right before your eyes.

You see her vibrant personality - and likable she is - in the beginning... a sweet young girl who possesses a gift that everyone can plainly see.  Her face lights up like a candle.  She opens her mouth to sing and out comes Billie Holiday!  You're completely in awe... and then she talks, walks and lives... and you can't believe she survived to 27.  She looked so fragile.

Loving Amy is easy if you haven't seen this film... she wrote songs as if she'd lived 100 lifetimes... and, as she sings in "Back to Black," she'd died 100 times.

Nonetheless, I find it very hard to feel sorry for her, even though the director obviously wants you to. She had all the opportunities in the world handed to her at a very young age - just for being there. Millions of dollars backed that golden voice.  She had the best musicians, producers, promoters.  She threw it all away... for a guy, for another hit of her drug of the moment... and though she was very ill and needed help... it's not like help wasn't offered.  She was just born to be tragic, sing like a jilted lover and die like she'd always belonged in the 27 Club.

I love these songs of Amy's:

Tears Dry on Their Own - one of her better performances - masterful! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Thanks, Yoko, for all the memories!

A Work to Be Stepped On

Painting to Hammer a Nail


London poster

Plastic Ono Band room

"Shaved Fish" record

Half a Room

Cut Piece

My Yoko Experience - June 26, 2015 - MoMA, NYC
Go to

Read Sandy's Article: Yoko on the Periphery

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Jacob Lawrence: Painter of the Triumph of the Human Spirit

Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) was an African-American painter known for his portrayal of black life in America. In 1941, then just 23 years old, Jacob completed a series of 60 small tempera paintings with text captions about the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North that started around 1915. Within months of its making, the series entered the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Memorial Gallery (today The Phillips Collection), with each institution acquiring half of the panels. Lawrence's work is now an icon in both collections, a landmark in the history of modern art, and a key example of the way that history painting was radically reimagined in the modern era.

I had the great pleasure of viewing the MoMA exhibit and was very moved by this series.  It's one thing to try to capture beautiful images in paint - quite another to be able to tell such an intimate story with tempera on brown paper, which conveys exactly the mood and emotions of its subjects and makes us truly feel the pain of the people. 

Jacob was ahead of his time and if he were alive today, would be front and center in the struggle against racism in America.  He was the witness to it all and brought such grace to his subjects, which leads us from the early 20th century all the way to the steps of the church in Charleston, South Carolina that recently suffered such tremendous senseless losses.  His paintings predict the strength and character of these brave souls and teaches us to move forward and beyond such intolerance.

One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Works
At the Whitney Museum of American Art
His Legacy
Phillips Collection

Along with Lawrence's series at MoMA, the exhibition includes other accounts of the migration from the era, including novels and poems; music by Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White. The range of works in the exhibition sheds light on the ways in which Lawrence drew upon and transformed contemporary models for representing black experience in America.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rediscovering Elliott Smith

I went to the director’s screening of "Heaven Adores You," the documentary about Elliott Smith, the other night.  My mother and I listened to his music a lot before she passed away... but now I’m rediscovering his music and finding a whole new way of listening to Elliott’s songs.  I like to read the lyrics while I listen because they’re so brilliant... as was he.

If you go on YouTube and type in Elliott Smith XO (his record, XO)... and just listen to each song, it’s a real experience.

You’ll notice his Beatles influence....  listening to Elliott for the first time (especially XO) is like discovering The White Album all over again!

My favourite songs are:
Waltz #2 – biting in his own way... about his mother and stepfather
Between the Bars – the saddest song in the world
Tomorrow Tomorrow – some of the most beautiful harmonies
Sweet Adeline  such a rare surprise
Miss Misery – he became famous when they played this song in the movie, “Good Will Hunting”

Check out Torment Saint - the wonderful in-depth biography of Elliott's life and music.
My special tribute to Elliott's Between the Bars.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Premiere of "The Blue Butterfly"

My song, "The Blue Butterfly" dedicated to Henri Matisse premieres today.  It's the story of a blue butterfly and a painting Paul Cezanne had given him which inspired Matisse for many years to paint his many masterpieces. This is one in a series of songs from my upcoming album, "Painting Music."

In Hilary Spurling's brilliant biography of Matisse - The Unknown MatisseA Life of Henri Matisse, she tells the story of how Matisse was encouraged by Madame Matisse to follow his dream: he saw a blue butterfly and spent his last dollar to buy it so he could duplicate the blue of that butterfly in his painting.  The butterfly and Cezanne taught him in a very special way to become the painter he always knew he could be.

"Matisse said he had dreamed from his earliest years of the radiant light and colour he finally achieved in the stained-glass windows of the chapel at Vence in 1952. 'It is the whole of me . . . everything that was best in me as a child.' He told his grandson, who had been taken aback to find almost every conventional feature of a church interior missing from the chapel, that his whole life had been in some sense a flight. 'I come from the North. You can't imagine how I hated those dark churches.' One of the effects that pleased him most in the Vence chapel was a clear reflected blue of an intensity he said he had seen before only in the glint on a butterfly's wing, and in the pure blue flame of burning sulphur: the flames of the volcano that first erupted in a toy theatre in Bohain seventy years before. 'Even if I could have done, when I was young, what I am doing now--and it is what I dreamed of then--I wouldn't have dared.'" 

Here are the lyrics to my song:

The Blue Butterfly

She heard an echo. She understood in her soul
and from all the lives she’d lived before…
Intuition must be trusted. Blind faith cannot tell
when the mysteries are found at the bottom of the well.

Risks and faith in the smoldering fires
and the burning of his deep desires.
The Genie of the lamp’s
full of demons and the dance.
Singing Harmony in Red.
His passionate view of joy they said
crossed the Green Line, o wild Fauve;
paint the red room and orange grove.

The blue of that butterfly and Cezanne
made you more of a spiritual man.

Blue as a sulfur flame filled with Mediterranean light.
Such a blue, it pierced his heart.
He knew he had to buy that cherished butterfly.

The painting spoke in its own clear voice.
She knew right then that she had no choice
but to breathe in the harmony.
She made the greatest sacrifice
to decide and not think twice.
Cross the blue line, o wild beast,
break the mold and paint a feast.

The blue of that butterfly and Cezanne
made you more of a spiritual man.

Go here to listen now on Soundcloud.
Watch the video here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Current Fascinating New York Shows

At the New York Botanical Gardens, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life will focus on the iconic artist's engagement with nature in her native country of Mexico. The exhibition will be the first solo presentation of Kahlo's work in New York City in more than 10 years, and the first exhibition to focus exclusively on her intense interest in the botanical world. [more...]

Van Gogh: Irises and Roses

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York - Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) brought his work in Provence to a close with exuberant bouquets of spring flowers—two of irises and two of roses. This exhibition will reunite the four paintings for the first time since the artist's death and is timed to coincide with the blooming of the flowers that captured his attention. It will open 125 years to the week that Van Gogh announced to his brother Theo, on May 11 and 13, 1890, that he was working on these "large bouquets," and will provide a singular opportunity to reconsider Van Gogh's artistic aims and the impact of dispersal and color fading on his intended results. [more...]

Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971

The Museum of Modern Art presents its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of Yoko Ono, taking as its point of departure the artist’s unofficial MoMA debut in late 1971. [more...]

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Blizzard

Sandy's new single, "The Blizzard," is live on Soundcloud

The Blizzard

[inspired by “The Blue Bird“]

Martyred rose…
alive in the blizzard,
reaching petals toward the light,
bless’d the promise of the night.

I rose one morning to a blizzard.
The wint’ry wind blew snow deep in my way
and I knew a storm was coming,
So I set out to find what debt I had to pay.

Sleep and Death, Sleep and Death
representing its last breath.
Just to meet – the dead in the
house of the unborne;
the rose knows about Death and Sleep!

…and the spell of the absent one moves forth.
And the wisdom of the deepest
holds the weeping eye so dear -
to chase away the fear.

Encountering the waiting ones
who seek their incarnations.
Slashing at their natural zeal,
we’ll scorn the sweet sensations.

Deep in the new theatre
lives the flaming youth
where the transformation quickens
and the plot of life thickens.

Can’t speak to an absent mind
that smothers such impressions.
wonder is enlightenment
in its truest expressions.

…and the spell of the absent one moves forth.
And the wisdom of the deepest
holds the weeping eye so dear -
to chase away the fear.
To chase away the fear.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Receives Art Seized by Nazis

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is receiving a major gift of 186 works seized by Nazi forces in 1938. It’s taken decades for the donor’s family to recover the famed collection that includes fine jewelry, rare books and paintings. The objects have taken a fascinating journey between Vienna and Boston.

Some were taken by the Nazis in 1938/39, and then recovered by the real Monuments Men after the war, and eventually came back to the family - referring to the members of the Allied force’s Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program, who were charged with finding, preserving and returning culturally important works confiscated by Hitler’s forces. [more...]