The Queen's Music

by Alan Kestner


T his piece is a pencil drawing and was inspired by the Queen's speech to the nation on 8th May 2020, and my love of music.

It is difficult to interpret music visually except by drawing instruments.


The Queen's Music
A Pencil Drawing by Alan Kestner
May 2020

So I decided to show a series of patterns and rhythms superimposed on the trunks of the trees.

Clearly these are not from observation and so I depicted them as flat shapes, rather like plywood. The viewer then knows they are not real and adjusts expectations accordingly. However, I can subvert this certainty by depicting some realistic elements in the foreground (ferns, ivy, stickyjacks, wood anemones and stinging nettles). I have also added portraits of my two dogs, Meg and Pearl.

The queen is playing the harp and her music wafts from her hands in four transparent shapes. Up among the branches in a series of large oak leaves are musicians I admire. First there is a strange horned creatures playing the pan pipes. Next there is David Oistrakh playing Bach’s concerto for double violin with Yehudi Menuhin (at the top).

Below him is Andrés Segovia who is playing "Platero y Yo". There is also a violinist playing the "Lark Ascending" by Vaughan Williams.

This piece belongs to a series of drawings I am preparing for an exhibition at the Poolhaus in Blankenese, Hamburg in the autumn, if Covid 19 allows. It is a one-man show running from 21st November 2020 to 5th December 2020.

The title of the exhibition will be "Swimming Against the Tide".

Alan Kestner is a local artist. He lives in Oxford and is a member of Literarties.

Please visit Alan's website, here