Saturday, March 28, 2009

THe Arabesque

"The Arabesque", 11x14, oil on canvas panel

Today I was in a funk, wanting to paint, but searching for subject matter. I went round and round and finally decided to do something I haven't done in a long time- paint a ballerina. My very first paintings of ballerinas in 2006 were tedious-I was trying so hard to make sure that every single limb and muscle was perfect as you can see if you look at my website. Today I was looking at a library book that contained paintings by Dan McCaw. Dan paints ballerinas all the time and they are gorgeous in the way that the figure captures the light. However, his dancers are all stationary- sitting or reposing in such a way that the light hits them dramatically and makes them look magical. Nevertheless they are stationary and that doesn't move me very much no matter how glorious the lighting effects are! Dan is an artist that inspires me a great deal-his paintings sell in the thousands of dollars, and depressingly I can't even afford to buy his book, "A Proven Strategy for Creating Great Art".

How sad is that? I think if I sell this painting that I will go ahead and buy his book. The cheapest one I could find is a used edition on Amazon at about $150. Many are much higher than that.

Anyhow, going back to me, I decided that I should try and paint more of what I know something about, and ballet was a huge part of my life for too many years to just throw away and discard, even though my knees are shot and I could probably not balance on one foot for a full minute if my life depended on it! So I painted this impressionist study of a dancer in arabesque today and I love the way that it came out. I like it so much that I am tempted to not sell it. In truth, I have not sold one single ballet painting that I've ever did because they are so very special to me. I do intend to give most of them to my niece, Kaitlin who also loves to dance and was a beautiful Clara in her company's production of The Nutcracker this past Christmas.

But this one I do intend to sell, and hopefully selling it will encourage me to do more ballet paintings- many more. Ballet dancing is a magnificent art- too often overlooked in this country. If you would like to buy this original painting of a dancer, painted by a dancer, please know that you will help me paint more dancers. And it will also give me the funds I need to buy a book by an artist that is incredible in his bold impressionist style and his rendering of dancers.

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