Unlikely Dance: Golden Clouds – finished!

Unlikely Dance: Golden Clouds
Unlikely Dance: Golden Clouds – 30 x 48 in., oils on canvas

Finished… and being submitted this afternoon to the 2013 Roberson Regional Art Exhibition, along with my other finished Unlikely Dance painting, Green Skirt. No guarantees of a place in this juried show, of course, and it’s impossible for me to be objective about it. As my artist friend Barbara says, we’re always in love with the latest piece. And I do love it, as well as the many friends and fans on Facebook who’ve Liked it. I’m such a sucker for approval.

Lydia
My assistant, Lydia

Getting good photos of these larger pieces has been a real trial — I was afraid I might have to pay a professional to do it (which I’ve done in the past — photographers have to make a living too, but I don’t make a lot of money with which to pay them). Finally I found a place/time that worked — it’s at the top of the stairway to my studio, where at midday or thereabouts there’s even, diffused light coming from the rooms at either side of the landing. Here’s an unedited version where you can see how I’ve set the painting into the center doorway, with door closed:

Golden Clouds, uncropped
Golden Clouds, uncropped

You might notice the small wadded-up piece of paper in front of the painting, which was deposited there by my young studio assistant, Lydia. She’s not the most helpful assistant ever, and can be a distraction at times, but she means well, loves the work, and is very soft and comforting. :)

And now, onward with Unlikely Dance — I’ve got a finished underpainting all ready for the easel. But first, the whole process of Golden Clouds:


The “Unlikely Dance” project was made possible by a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York

To follow my progress in Unlikely Dance, just click on the “Unlikely Dance” link under TOPICS, on the left of any page in this blog.

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Golden Clouds: blocking in the colors

Unlikely Dance: Golden Clouds, stage 8
Unlikely Dance: Golden Clouds, stage 8 — colors blocked in except for heads

Golden Clouds is coming along nicely, I think, though it is a cause of discomfort — and derision, I understand — for some morris foremen. (It is art, after all, not a dance manual… I suspected this might become an issue.) I’m not having as many problems with glare now that I’ve rearranged the easels — had to fit my smaller easel in to work smaller pieces concurrently with the large (30″ x 48″) Unlikely Dance paintings, and although a bit crowded, the change has resulted in some lighting improvements.

My theme painting for Window on the Arts is now finished and drying — next post will be on that piece. Meanwhile, I’m doing some further preliminary studies on the heads in Golden Clouds, before painting.



The “Unlikely Dance” project was made possible by a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York

To follow my progress in Unlikely Dance, just click on the “Unlikely Dance” link under TOPICS, on the left of any page in this blog.

“Golden Clouds” – finishing, and RE-finishing the underpainting

GoldenClouds04 - Final version of the underpainting
Final version of the underpainting

I post all my art-in-progress photos on my GreenBoat Gallery Facebook page as well as here, and when I considered the underpainting of Unlikely Dance: Golden Clouds finished, I posted it — proudly so, because despite a few correctable flaws I was quite happy with it. However, one of my FB friends — a long-time morris dancer/musician, and an accomplished designer and illustrator himself — began posting about the dancers I’d used as models, naming names along with suggestions to make the dance positions more correct. I’d changed the faces, but evidently not enough. He’s primary musician for the team I was using as reference, so is well acquainted with “the girls” by position and stance, but this was not my objective. I didn’t want to come off all prissy, uptight prima-donna (okay, maybe I am?), but my intention was a painting of dance, using my various photos of the dancers, along with others, as reference only. And I needed the less-than-perfect position for the compositional line. I hope I was courteous and good-humored in my reply, but one never knows how the written word will strike the reader — especially late at night — and I’ve been read and heard before as sharper than I meant to be.

For my part, though, it was a wake-up call which produced a welcome result. I spent another several hours amending my Photoshop image with the web-searched faces of vintage French mannequin heads, and I’m actually MUCH happier with the final underpainting. And my FB friend the dancer/musician/designer marked it with a Like. So that’s good, I think.


The “Unlikely Dance” project was made possible by a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York

To follow my progress in Unlikely Dance, just click on the “Unlikely Dance” link under TOPICS, on the left of any page in this blog.