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

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Twitter, Facebook and Blogs

Mike Ayers' sketchbook project work.
Go check out the whole project!
One of my twitter peeps, Mike Ayers, is doing the "Stranger" theme for his sketchbook project this year... and has chosen to paint his twitter followers. I don't use a full photo for my profile, so when he told me I was next I was curious to see what he would come up with. Very creative solution to the problem...
He took my bird painting from a couple weeks ago, and reworked it, adding in my little cropped photo.

I would never have thought of that.

Mike's sketchbook is shaping up nicely... way better than mine, I must say. Right after I posted about what I intend to do I discovered that my dogs had, once again, wrecked havoc in my studio. My poor little sketchbook sustained some damage, but not enough to make it unusable. As if I weren't having enough problems with this particular undertaking... now I have to figure out how to deal with a bunch of chewed pages and a cover missing the bottom corner. Yipee.

Other artists I follow who are doing some interesting things online are Lisa Myers Bulmash and Emily Cline. Lisa has started a Pinterest board for artists who are moms, and Emily and a friend started up a Facebook group where creative people can share what they are working on and get some feedback. I had the pleasure of meeting both these amazing women at Artfest last spring. A fantastic things about the internet... being able to keep in touch with people from all over, and meeting people online that I would probably never have come in contact with otherwise.

My own work this week:
This is a small study on paper that I intend to work into a larger piece on canvas. I like the pose, though something is looking a bit off around her back... I think I need to redraw it and get that shape right. And maybe make the palette a little less blue. Worth taking to the next step, I think.