Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Contact Dance, a painting

In my last painting I had returned to the style I developed in high school. Before the Fine Arts degree, before the style that developed through the Birth Paintings and that became my signature afterwards. I had gone back to re-find who I was, and to see if I returned to that point if my art might develop in another direction. I'm still working on the painting; I seem obsessed with either it, or the process it represents. Working on that small painting is like scraping memory and habit off to get to the back of the cave and seeing what the first marks were. Success is not important in this endeavour. It's all exploration.

So what happened tonight took me by surprise. I am posting the images up to the point where I painted everything white and then proceeded to rub the painting out. It would be an easy piece to re-do since it was from a sketch from a life drawing session which I still have and can reproduce on another canvas.

Who knows, I may re-paint these figures and leave the painting at the point I'm showing you here: unfinished, but still kind of raw, perhaps alive. There is an artist, an Expressionist perhaps, or Post-Expressionist, who this painting reminds me of and when I think of his name I'll pop it into this post (if you know please leave a comment).

It's two figures in contact dance. Actually it's one model in the life drawing session in two poses that I drew on the same page. We do what we can to get the poses we'd like. Because I sought the tensions of the connection point of contact dance, the flow and the seismic lines of energy, I used small lines, a loose construction.

The sketch was done quite awhile ago and the ink had set. Click on the images for larger size.

There was no plan for the painting of the sketch. Lines followed lines; colours suggested colours. I used a plastic egg carton and each colour had its own 'egg nest' and its own brush - 10 all together! This system kept the colors pure, but was akin to a stick game as the brushes often entangled and kept falling!

Click on image for a really large version. 'Contact Dance,' 2009, 14"x10.5", 35.5cmx26.5cm,  India ink and oils on a primed canvas sheet.

Perhaps I should have stopped here. Instead I continued painting, covering the bright colour with a white wash, and then throwing water all over it which got wiped off along with most of the colour. What's left of the painting (see next post) can probably be taken in another direction, and I can re-do what I did here, using this image as a study. Oh, the delights of art-making!

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  1. Anonymous9:33 AM

    It flows so with ease and beauty ... just like dance I suppose and then again you can see and fel the energy of the bodies in "contact."

  2. Thank you, Liz! Contact Dance is a movement practice that I find challenging, and yet I love to watch it. Working with another without any script or choreography, just a sort of 'Tao' of movement, it can be incredible. I'd love to paint something that captures that flow and those tension points where bodies meet. This painting got wiped out to become a pastel, that now sits before a canvas where it will be study.

    Like the little train here, 'I can,' 'I can,' 'I can'...

    It's so nice you left a comment and I appreciate your dropping by.

    Big *hugs* to you!


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