Sunday, December 16, 2012

Music, Dance and Expression

My recent fascination with jazz, musicians and music in general have led me to discover all kinds of new things. I've been visiting the library regularly and checking out CDs from musicians and bands I had never heard of... looking on the liner notes for names of who is playing on what track and then looking them up... and on and on it goes.

A little while ago I got my hands on a dvd documentary on the history of swing, called "This Joint is Jumpin". What a fun movie. Along with the fantastic old footage of performers from the 20s up to the the present, there is footage and interviews with the swing dancers of the time. The dancing is amazing. There is so much energy and life, and it expresses the joy of the music so perfectly. It got me thinking...

The Dance
9x12" acrylic on paper
I did a couple little pieces on paper first to see if I could get something I was happy with. It helps me to work out issues with the drawing, composition, anatomy... one thing I've noticed is that because I don't put in a lot of detail in the figures, if my anatomy is off at all it stands out like a sore thumb.

There are so many different directions I could take this. I talked to my niece, who has been dancing since she could walk, and happily she agreed to pose for some photos. Until then, I found some old photos, a few pics online, and some video stills I can use for reference. I decided to start with a flamenco dancer, since I've always been somewhat fascinated with it, and the poses can be very dramatic.  Next up? Not sure yet...

The Red Flame
16x20" Acrylic on Canvas


  1. Really nice work, Marianne. I love the angle of the viewer's eye for the flamenco dancer. It really emphasizes the movement. Hope you are having a great last day of 2012. We just returned from a ski trip in Nelson - I wish I were Canadian. Such a great place. Happy New Year!

  2. These are incredible. And I am so happy to have "The Dance" in my possession - thank you so much. I still have to find a suitable frame for it. The bestest Christmas gift ever!