In the nineties, I painted many figurative works. Some of them were done at the Barnsdall Art Center in Hollywood. Others were done in private groups. This was one of my favorite models. He was a retired dancer who had been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. He was very gifted and had a wonderful flair for costume and set design. I painted his setup at another artist’s studio in a day-long shared model session. There are two paintings in the set. Each is about 30″ x 30″. They were done in acrylic on canvas, and I had a wonderful time!
I love this series of expressionist works. I begin each one with a random element, such as a word chosen from a printed source, background music, or a brushstroke contributed by an onlooker. I then add more thick paint, or a glaze and see what the canvas has to tell me.
To create this demonstration painting for school children at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, I began by reading the poem “Night Clouds” by Amy Lowell. I asked the students to name their favorite images (word pictures) from the work. This particular group chose the “vermillion tongue” of the rising sun. Students took turns painting red tongues on the blank canvas. Between sessions, I added more color to the images and layered them with glazes that included various shades of reds and orange. The kids loved the poem and I enjoyed sharing the experience.