Current Inspiration // Sound + Waveforms by Beth Glover

Photo by Richard Jacobs on Unsplash

Photo by Richard Jacobs on Unsplash

I’m an avid listener of podcasts, especially since I often work alone and from home. I’m constantly consuming new episodes of my favorite podcast series, while working on design projects or even while I cook dinner. I even listen to them while I’m painting (when I’m not listening to music!) I recently listened to a fascinating re-release of an episode of On Being with Krista Tippet. If you do not know of this podcast, do yourself a favor and subscribe to it! I love the broad yet human topics, authenticity, and depth of spiritual discussions that Krista so effortlessly connects through her interview style.

The episode I listened to was called “Katy Payne: In the Presence of Elephants & Whales” and I’ve shared it below. Dr. Katy Payne is the person who discovered that elephants communicate with infrasound, which is sound that the human ear can’t hear. She felt a “throbbing in the air” while observing them at a zoo. This discovery led to her deeply researching elephant communities, their communication and connections between familial systems. For me, I was in awe of this fact (I had never heard it until this podcast, though she made this finding in 1984!)

Infrasonic Sound Waves made by Elephants

Image Credit: The KOTA Foundation for Elephants

This simple fact also inspired me to play with waveform shapes in some of my work that I’ve been doing for my upcoming wallpaper line. I love that everything has a sound, whether we, as limited humans, can hear it or not. I love that all sound has a shape, known as the waveform. Look at the pattern in the waveform to the left - I find it so gorgeous!

I love that everything is connected - visual art, sounds, math, science, shape, animals, nature, and God. That means if I paint a waveform shape from my head (which I did) it could be translated into sound. Now, I am just so curious as to what my artwork sounds like.

“Waveform I” - Original Watercolor on Hot Press Paper

“Waveform I” - Original Watercolor on Hot Press Paper

Here’s what I painted, using waveform as an inspiration. I’ve not yet selected the final pieces for my upcoming wallpaper collection, so it’s yet to be determined if this piece will or any of the others in this thread of inspiration will make it into the final collection, but I love working off of those things that surprise and delight me when I’m least expecting it.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

— Pablo Picasso