Dancer


Happy with this painting of a dancer in my Moleskine. Why? She is lithe and muscular, and has an elegance. She also looks like she's dancing in an ink painting. Splotches of black India ink move over her; she is situated in torrents of acrylic flame red ink. In her dance, she holds still for a moment and her pose imparts a tension of the energy of emotion. There is life, passion and death here.

What I most enjoyed was overdoing this piece. Many inks were dip penned and brush spread until it was a mess, and then, miraculously, I washed the inks off, using all my rags and a half roll of paper towels, wetting and blotting until the sketch began to re-emerge.

With that weight of paint removed from her, of which only I hold the memory, she is again lithe, ready to spring.

And I had to laugh when someone said she looked intersex, and admit ever since Fellini's Satyricon, and then Jung's exploration of the hermaphrodite, I've felt intersex in dreams or art can be a powerful image of inner union. If my Dancer appears to be both woman and man, I am delighted.

Not sure why, since I don't usually anymore, I scanned the sketch, and then the first wash of black India ink and permanent red acrylic ink, and I took an iPhone photo early in the process of adding the inks that I later removed. I have included these three in-process photos, along with the final one (it's first, on the left), for you so you can see the progression of this little painting that took the greater part of last Sunday to complete.

Dancer, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2012, graphite, India and acrylic inks, Moleskine folio Sketchbook A4.

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