Well...I finished up my May 2016 'Dance' themed series.
I have mixed feelings about the series. I like the overall consistency of color and for the most part the style- in the photo collage below the images aren't in order, but in chronological order there is a little bit more 'flow'. For the most part the images are full dancer forms, simplified with drips and fun watercolor spots. I included the 'yellow ribbon' in most of the pieces, again thinking to myself of that idea of dance connection people together, and connecting movement to music;
Two that stand out a little bit are the ones I made when John and I were up north in Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach to see Willie Nelson and just to get away for a bit. I was thinking about the beach, about pairing a pointe shoe and a flip flop in the sand for the ballerina beach bum...then a pointe shoe and cowboy boot for the gal that does the boot scootin' boogie on her toes.
Two more that stand out a little because the colors don't stick with the overall color scheme are the two last pieces in the series, completed on Memorial Day and the day after. I went with red, white and blue for obvious reasons and then decided to complete one more in the same color scheme so the piece wouldn't be lonely;
I ended up focusing only on ballet for the series, even though I did reference some contemporary dance images...I always ended back to the ballet. In some ways I wish I would have explored different forms of dance within the series...but then again I kinda like having thirty-one images dedicated just to ballet...with the option to go back into the series and create pieces based on more styles of dance...or even revisit the idea in an entirely new series...
I had also hoped to actually drop in on a dance class...something for myself during this month but with the end of the year...and some traveling...it just didn't happen. I did dance to some Willie Nelson, so I'll count that!
A fun hashtag that I kept seeing on Instagram is #artvsartist
...I checked it out an made my own;
The whole idea is that sometimes what we create as artist resembles, well... us. It isn't true for everyone...but looking through my own works I can see a little bit of myself (or the version of of myself in my head) present in my own works. It isn't intentional, it just happens.
One thing that I am kind struggling with a little in my own mind is my own style. I feel like, if left to my own devices, my work would be pretty much like what I have pictured above- big ol' head with huge, expressive eyes, small features, sculpted brows, winged eyes, tiny nose and mouth and thin, elegant neck. This is my go-to figure that I love to draw.
This is my fifth year making art consecutively every day- today is 1600 days in a row. (I actually think it might be 1-2 days more due to leap years...but math isn't my thang, so let's just call it 1600.) I have not made a conscious effort to make every month and every series cohesive- and sometimes I wish I had. But at the same time, each month I have allowed myself to work with different materials, themes and styles and I do feel that within each monthly theme I have cohesion. The main thing that has connected the works from month to month is the focus on the female form, usually just the face or from the neck up.
So far this year;
I'm an rambling a bit, but this is just something that has been on my mind. I think I will keep allowing myself the freedom to experiment each month for the rest of 2016...starting year 6 I may look at starting to develop one particular style more. It's not that the other styles are harder for me, or don't feel 'right', just thinking about the overall year as a body of work. I think my tendencies at this point are more illustrative, and I'm okay with that. I like telling stories with my art...even if it isn't always a chapter from the same book!
So, I haven't had time to sit and write about the how and why behind my new series, #JustDanceJLG. I love to dance, and I love to watch people dance. Growing up, we didn't have money for extra things like dance lessons or gymnastics- and transportation was an issue, so I never took dance classes. I was always envious of folks that had dance recitals and fun costumes...but it just wasn't something that I could do, but in my heart I love to dance.
At the end of April I met up with one of my fav art students and her friend for some sketch time. She was getting ready for her AP portfolio, it was just a chance to breathe and draw for fun. I was thinking I wanted to base my May series on dance at the time, but wasn't sure...and I had a new paint set I wanted to try out...so I figured I would check some of my favorite fashion magazines for inspiration. I had actually intended on making a few fashion illustrations...then I saw this image of Misty Copeland and couldn't force myself to turn the page any further. She was just so beautiful, so strong. I felt like it was a sign from the muses that this- that DANCE was what I was to draw this month. So I did a trial sketch...which sold the next day, so that's kind of fun!
I started working on a few pieces over the first few days of May...still giving myself an 'out' if I wanted to go another direction. At the time, I was distracted by a really busy week- finishing up clay tiles with my students at school, meetings or something to do almost every night that week...and also preparing for the 'Surfer's Paradise' show at Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery.
One of the meetings that I mentioned was at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Brent and I attended an extensive and ambitious arts meeting. As I entered and exited the building the images of one of the current shows captured my attention;
Jordan Matter: Dancers Among Us (via Cultural Council site)
I felt like these images were yet another sign that yes, I should work with a dance theme this month. And side note...I looked at the artist's web site and the images in the gallery literally had me with tears in my eyes because they were so beautiful.
https://www.dancersamongus.com/ (artist's site)
...and that's about it- my version of some kind of intro to why I chose 'dance' as the theme for this month. I haven't committed to only working with the watercolor silhouettes, I know that. I was actually a little bummed because I saw that an artist (in Spain?) doing this type of work...so I definitely want to differentiate what I am doing. I played around with adding some background color on one piece...and I have maintained a 'ribbon' motif in my work, I was kind of thinking of how a dancer in motion is seamless and graceful, like a ribbon in the wind...and also that the ribbon is a symbol of connection- of dance bringing people together. And I am also thinking of incorporating some other dance styles, because I enjoy watching all types of dance. So...the images may continue to change a bit based on all of this.
Just some thoughts. In the meantime...just DANCE!
I had intentions to do a proper intro for my new series...but its 11:50pm and I need to start today's piece...and I have school tomorrow...and hey, at least I got the first images uploaded...so, proper intro to come...
I am far away from my mom and granny and some of my favorite moms...so I brought'em to the beach with me to sketch!
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!!
Well, the show is up!! If you are local, please stop by to see our works at Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in downtown Lake Worth!
Just for fun, are pics before and after we set up our work, a slide show from the opening nights and some local press links :)
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG