Academy Girls





This is a smallish study. 12X16 oil on canvas

Last year as I sat and watched a bunch of girls practice for their end of the year performance I took several pictures of the oldest pre professional academy girls.  The way they were all standing around listening to their ballet instructor caught my attention.  There isn’t too much slouching going on in this picture, but some.  That’s what I like, the slouching and awkward body and hand positions people do when they think nobody’s watching.  Sounds a little creepy when I say it like that.  I have lots of photo images of beautiful dancers slouching and not paying any attention to their posture.  I asked permission to paint this picture and showed their instructor some of my images and she wondered to me why that image and those girls.  No reason other that I liked their unposed natural positions and the unchoreographed feel.  Just a snapshot of what was going on behind the scenes before the performance.  This was fun to draw.  I moved the girls around to where I wanted them and took figures from several pictures and put them together.  In fact, the girl front and center standing on one toe shoe is in there twice, she is standing right next to herself, the girl back in space a bit with the beautiful profile.  I’m going to do a few more of these and play around with the figures positions in space and creating space without anything more than figures.  Then I’ll do a big one, I think.  This reminds me of what I painted in college.


I like the way this black and white image shows just values and brushwork.



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