I love this time of year, art fairs are underway, I have completed my shows and getting into the studio and enjoying the new lighting that has been installed makes it a special place to be. Last week I started a series of drawings with the approach, ‘lets see what happens’. This is one of my devices for getting back to the easel without it things would get stuck. Being stuck is not something I am keen on but it does have its benefits if you can see that you are stuck in the first place. So, back to the various trickery I seem to try and place on myself in order to create. Being ‘open’ to what happens when drawing or painting is something I am always keen to experience, whether or not this is successful isn’t too relevant, just to try and be open is the main thing.
I came across this wonderful dancer, new to me, Sylvie Guillem who has such an interesting approach to dance, one of exploration and investigation. She has wonderful long red hair sometimes black, for this piece she had it piled up behind her head. Whilst watching her move I gain a lot from what she is trying to convey and try and respond through paint
A lot of dance that I have watched plays with light and darkness onto the body, sculpting it. This is wonderful to watch, light travels across the body and picks out abstract shapes, defining muscles and giving tips of fingers highlights. For me a lot of movement here is lost, the classic way of depicting chiaroscuro is to edit the amount of blacks to a lighter grey; stark shadows distort the figure and lose form for the painter but they are beguiling and as I had my ‘lets see what happens’ head on I did the above drawing at the end of the day.
One of the films that Sylvie Guillem has produced features her in a fascinating space, it looks like she has landed in a white and grey landscape which has been painted with a large brush, she wears black and teeters around on ledges, investigating in a tentative way the space. Getting a beautiful shot of her strong legs and feet was intriguing, I have never stopped to draw dancers feet, they are always on the move.