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Some artists make paintings, drawings, animations or textile designs based on the influence of sounds - everyday sounds or music - the artworks produced vary from the abstract to the representational or descriptive. This selection of videos and images presents a variety of approaches and inspiration; some of it might be useful in starting a piece of artwork yourself. There are other materials on the website that link in with this too; for example patterns are found in nature and the crossovers in sound and image are common, sometimes they make for a relaxing piece of music, and the relationships between sound and image are important when making a film. Click HERE for a page on the natural world, HERE for a selection of relaxing sounds and stories, and HERE for lots of film and sound relating to Scottish Hebridean island life.



Kandinsky (1866-1944) was born in Russia, he later lived in Germany, teaching at the Bauhaus until it was closed by the Nazis in 1933, and he eventually settled in France. He was an abstract painter and was fascinated by colour, theosophy (a spiritual belief system originating in the 19th century not connected to a particular religion) and music. He was interested in the relationships between music and abstraction and paint and abstraction - that neither have to represent the exterior world, rather, they can express feeling - "Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul"


CLICK HERE for an article about Kandinsky's paintings in relation to sound and image.



Katy Dove (1970 - 2015) was an artist who used drawing, painting, animation and music, often working collaboratively. Her artwork has been described as intuitive; the images and sounds rippling out from a feeling or state of mind. "Many of the recordings in Dove’s animation soundtracks come from the natural world; the human voice is bound together with bird song to communicate varied tones, melody and breath. When combined with analogue instruments rhythms emerge to follow a free, organic logic. By exploring processes and ideas rather than fixed meanings, Dove’s work relishes the non-linear, the non-narrative, whilst being rooted in the actuality of our sensory experience of landscape and place."

Kirsteen Macdonald, Moving Image Season: Katy Dove, GoMA.

Below are a selection of excerpts of Katy Dove's animations.

Katy Dove, Luna (excerpt), 2004

Katy Dove, Sooner (excerpt), 2007

Katy Dove, Meaning in Action (excerpt), 2013

Katy Dove, October (excerpt), 2011



Scottish filmmaker Margaret Tait worked with a variety of techniques, here are links to some of her animations, where paint has been directly applied to the film, and the music is as important as the image. More of her films can be found in the ISLAND section of the website.

Still image from Margaret Tait's film Calyspo. Colourful painterly brushstrokes.

Margaret Tait, Calypso, 1955. Still courtesy of LUX, London.

CLICK HERE to view Calypso (1955)

Hand painted directly onto film stock by Margaret Tait, this film features animated dancing figures, accompanied by authentic calypso music.

CLICK HERE to view Painted Eightsome (1970)

Margaret Tait described this title as 'An eightsome reel played by Orkney Strathspey and Reel Society, recorded in about 1955 - 1956, later transferred to 35mm optical stock with clear picture and gradually painted over the years. Eights of different things - figures, antlers, or sometimes just blobs in tartan colours - dance their way through the figure of the reel.

CLICK HERE to view John Macfayden (1970)

Brightly coloured animated figures dance to the traditional tune 'John MacFadyen', as played by the Orkney Strathspey and Reel Society in this hand painted piece by Margaret Tait.



Norman McLaren (1914-1987) was born in Stirling and went on to live in Canada. He was a filmmaker and animation artist, he "is remembered for his experiments with image and sound as he developed a number of groundbreaking techniques for combining and synchronizing animation with music."(Wikipedia) Some of his early films involve scratching directly onto the film stock to make the images, as he didn't yet have a camera. Below are a selection of his animated films, where the sound is an integral component. 

There are also some examples of animations with image and sound made in the Art in Hospital projects. CLICK HERE to see them.



Photographic portrair of Dora Maurer holding up a photograph of herself that is repeated and receding in size in a anticlockwise rotation.

By Évi Fábián - The photographer, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Dora Maurer (b 1937) is a Hungarian artist, she was part of a group of artists and musicians working in Budapest reacting against the Socialist Hungarian government of the time. Her work is sometimes described as conceptual and spans photography, film, music; with a focus on process and subtle changes between states.

More information on Dora Maurer can be found HERE and HERE.




Click on the image below for a full size sheet and PDF you can download and print.

image and sound aih sheet.jpg

Press play below to listen to some sounds recorded by Maria Doyle.

Press play below to listen to recordings of a snowy winter walk by Belinda Guidi.

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