( http://www.usaprojects.org/project/heartbeat ) In the meantime, the work begins!
Essential to this project is to create a series of gestural drawings that will be the basis for my underpaintings. For those that don’t know, gestural drawings are very quick line drawings meant to capture the movement and dynamics of the model. By quick I mean less than 2 minutes. Being “up close and personal” with the dancers is important to this process, which is why I want to work right there in the studios with the dancers as opposed to doing small sketches in a book while sitting in the audience of a performance. (Although I will do that too when the opportunity presents itself) I’ll then take these large drawings back to my studio and using a very large brush and thinned down oil paint, recreate them on canvas. Thinning down the paint will allow it to flow and drip and naturally mix with the various colors I’ll be using. This is when life begins on the canvas. This is the heartbeat.
From this point on, after the underpainting has dried, I will no longer look at my drawings but will simply work to honor the dynamics created during the underpainting process. I believe that the truth of the subject or artist always surfaces so I no longer need to emphasize the subject. It’s already there. I just need to make the painting work.