“Michelangelo” by EmmyLou Harris
From the album “Red Dirt Girl”
Last night I dreamed about you / I dreamed that you were older / You were looking like Picasso / With a scar across your shoulder / You were kneeling by the river / You were digging up the bodies /Buried long ago / Michelangelo
A beautiful song that came to EmmyLou Harris in a dream. From the lyrics, I suspect it wasn't really Michelangelo she was dreaming about but her words certainly evoke a lot of imagery. I can easily imagine the scenes they describe as paintings hung on a gallery wall.
“The Painter” by Neil Young
From the album “Prairie Wind”
The painter stood / Before her work / She looked around everywhere / She saw the pictures and she painted them / She picked the colors from the air
While the opening lyrics above seem rather basic, it gets a lot deeper from there. To me this is a song about the triumphs and pitfalls of the creative process, of which I'm sure Neil Young knows much about. “If you follow every dream / You might get lost”...I think that's something every artist needs to hear at some time or another.
From the album “Utopia”
Me and Gaugin used to party down / I was hung in The Louvre, I was Renoir's pal / Vincent Van Gogh used to joke with me / Now they don't come 'round
From the album "Figure in a Landscape"
But I bought a paint box and some brushes/ to pass the time since you've been gone/ It's a portrait of a broken man / And the colors always run
To me, John Waite's voice is a work of art in itself. Here he sings hauntingly and beautifully of an artist attempting to pass the time with “a paintbox and some brushes” only to find himself confronted by his own inner state.