A Dancing With the Stars Tribute - Commission for Artem
Dancing with the Stars Pro, Artem Chigvinstev approached me wanting a huge piece to fill a section in his apartment, with the only requirement be that it was dancing related. I imagined graceful figures dancing across the painting and had the idea of doing three separate pieces to make the imagination fill in the empty spaces in between.
I started doodling on the first panel and three figures appeared, I liked the figurative and non literal take on dancing figures because it allowed for more creative mark making and color accents. What came through looked like a study of shapes and color fields that had a push and pull effect - a sense of depth. I have always leaned towards work that leaves traces of the artist's hand because it suggests that more can be done, it is not so perfect that one would not want to touch it, rather there is something compelling feeling that one can go back and continue the painting where they left off. The biggest challenge as an artist in my opinion is knowing when to leave the canvas alone.
I created accented details on the figures using oil sticks, and found the pigment quality to really elicit the depth and highlighted effect I was looking for. I wanted the figures to dance off the canvas and have where one starts and where one ends to be ambiguous.
In the third panel, I decided to draw inspiration direction from one of Artem's dancing photos. One in particular pulsed with the energy and intensity I was looking to convey in the triptych and I added to the composition a set of bulls to emphasize the theme of the Spanish dance style Paso Doble - the dance of the bulls.
I worked on the middle piece last and found it as a particular problem solving challenge. How would I unify two very dissimilar, and dense compositions to continue the flow of the dancing figures?
I decided to go a symmetrical form of a couple, also taken from another dancing photo and added a large abstracted crowd in the background to maintain uniformity in the density and color variety of the triptych.
After two weeks of editing the color placement and uniformity of marks, here is the finished product!
If you have questions about the process of my work or if you enjoyed this post please comment or like down below :)