Shomaker: The Story Of My Violin

Violin painted by Dianna Shomaker. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Violins, and the music they make, have been in my genes since youth. I struggled with learning to play and make it sound beautiful. My fingers ached from practice and in the end I decided I was more of an appreciater than a performer. And that continues today.

I deeply appreciate the feelings and memories from violin music and performers I have heard in my lifetime. There were professional classical performers in great concert halls, and there were jazzy, wonderful, toe-tapping fiddle players at Barn Dances. The thing they had in common was the joy they gave to the world in their unique and delightful interpretations.

Violin painted by Dianna Shomaker. Courtesy photo

When I had the opportunity to decorate one of these well-used instruments I knew what I wanted it too look like. It had to reflect the beauty of what that instrument gives to our ears. To me it feels like all the air up to the sky is filled with music. So I started with a suggestion of skies to be filled with music. Then I added a large abstracted flower bed of notes gathering at the bottom of the violin and gradually moving up to the neck until it reaches the final thread of a beautiful strain and leaves you with a dreamy quality of enjoyment. Supporting all that was a sense of rhythm that began pouring out of the sound holes, represented by piano keys accompanying the melody and the journey it was creating for us. All of it leaving us with the depth and heights beyond our ability to describe, and the feeling of calm, tranquility and peace.

What made this project doubly meaningful was the awareness that this violin in another way will go on to help in the rebirth of the next generation of students who aspire to follow in the footsteps, the likes of which would amaze Jascha Heifetz and and Itzhak Perlman.