Celestial Dancer III

Celestial Dancer III, 2012, 24"x30", 61cm x 76cm, oils, acrylic inks on canvas.

This painting was worked on in 4 successive stages over 8 years. The figure was sketched on the canvas in 2004, and first painted in early 2005 - when the background was done and the figure roughed in. In 2009, the figure received more definition. Celestial Dancer III was completed, 8 years after it was begun, with slashes of permanent blue ink (two days ago, she is still fresh). She hangs on my living room wall, where already she has received compliments from visitors. I am fairly shocked, and delighted, that this painting is finished!

Blue Blood. If you don't bleed, is it art? :laughs: 

On October 21, 2009, I wrote in my blog:

When this painting is a little drier, I'll work on the details - though surprisingly if cropped a bit it looks almost finished now. It was not easy to come back to this figure when I have let her sit in storage and my rooms here and in Vancouver unfinished for 5 years. With courage and force of will, I began to complete it. First I tried painting her on an easel, which  perhaps isn't my style in that I probably dance over the work as I am painting. A quick trip out to purchase 2 yards of thick clear plastic at Honest Ed's, the kind for tables in Italian restaurants, would protect my living room floor. I placed it on the floor, with a little prayer that neither my cat nor my dog would inadvertently wander over the painting space, the canvas surface of wet oils, along with a long piece of unused canvas on the side in case of spills, and shone a clamp lamp with a daylight bulb on the area. And then carefully laid the painting flat and wetted it and painted from the tube with fingers and washes with a large thick brush and oh solitary dramatics in an attempt to feel my way into the movement of the dance, her moment of stillness... she is graceful, beautiful, I don't know if that comes across. Hope so! 

On the upper left photo in the collage, I wrote in my Xanga blog (on January 4, 2005):

Despite the gloom of earlier, I moved my art supplies into the little unheated kitchen (an add on to the original house), that wire up front a makeshift dog gate, and my studio heater, which warmed me up marvelously, hang the 1600 watt usage, sat looking at the canvas, as I did yesterday for hours, and couldn't begin, and, you know, wept for long while, entered into a zen state, and squished paint around for maybe 20 or 30 minutes, and now I have the first, most difficult layer...

The drawing on the canvas, with a 2B pencil (shown with a Sepia photo filter), in 2004.

A loose sketch (2004), 14" x 17", India ink and watercolour pencils, which you can see in the collage.

Original sketch with a Photoshop filter.

The original sketch in 2004, 14" x 17", graphite and ball point pen (an after thought, and thankfully the ink has faded out). My brother had this drawing professionally framed and I have to admit, it looks good on the wall in his apartment.


  1. Brenda, this is truly magnificent ... divine. Love, Liz

  2. Anonymous10:25 AM


    Lloyd McDaniel


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