Are you hearing the same song in your head as I am mine? “Free at last, free at last…” Maybe it’s just me, but growing up in a hippie family, it seemed that clothes and people were generally in different parts of the house, the day, the universe. The two didn’t play well together. I saw a lot of clothes on the line. Appropo for the fabric portion of our March showcase. ; D
Behold the brand of beauty tossed!
See how the motion does dilate the flame!
…Fire, to no place confined,
Is both our wonder and our fear;
Moving the mind,
As lightning hurled through air…
Excerpts from “The Dancer” by Edmund Waller
I have always felt the dancer creates a new character at play with each motion. Even the stage is a character. A whole society is at work. With each whoosh there is an echo from the human condition. Pain, neutrality, anguish, ecstasy, lightness of being, disappointment, heartbreak, a new beginning, another death. You name it, it’s all there in every smokey move—clear as the light around her that shape the prayer of the dance.
Doesn’t she look perky? Ready for anything life throws at her. I love the fashion and attitudes that emerged post WWI, when women rebelled against rules of conduct set forth in the nineteenth century. She wore skirts that swung over her knee when she danced, and rolled stockings (oh my!). Her hair? A bob, like a boy’s cut. They set the rulebook on fire and had a helluva time! That would have been me. I’d probably dye my hair a different color every week and pretend to be elegant as I choked on long stemmed cigarettes. I’m sure I would have had a St. Bernard to accompany me at the dances.
A social celebrity Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerold could not be hemmed in—not for a second. Also the “It” Girl, Clara Bow and Mary Pickford known for popular movies of the 1920’s. I can’t take the smile off my face thinking of the outrageous dismissals of rules and pre-ordaned fashion these women confidently sported. And why not? The war had torn everything apart. They were part of the life force that brought it back together.
Project notes: Character… yes, yes, a challenge not to spend too much time on faces. I’m used to painting large. So faces in small spaces? Very new for me. I’m enjoying the learning and humiliations that go with the learning. Be happy not perfect this redhead says over and over in a day.
This list applies to both of them. There is too much to say about this combination for a short post. However, the love, mutual respect and understanding in this duo has saved lives, benefited tribes and communities throughout history. It’s an image that is near and dear to my heart and definitely a part of this month’s theme Love & Character.
Project notes: I finally finished an article I’ve been working on a couple of weeks requested by a few folks who wanted to start their own daily creation project. Here it is if you are interested: 10 Tips to Launch Your Own…
Can’t stay away from the Pierrot character. Especially if he is playing a banjo and looking longingly at the sky. I can only imagine that this sad dreamer is playing gypsy ballads. Which made me think about the relationship of Pierrot to the gypsies and to their culture. Though Pierrot and the gypsy have a long history of symbiosis in artistic expression (particularly in Italy and Spain) as impoverished spiritual outsiders, they have some distinct differences in attitude. Pierrot is often looking up, a billowy dream fills his face and his eyes are generally in a sideways grin, slightly flirtatious. The gypsies pride themselves in occupying a small part of the earth. Dancing in place, looking at their feet. Rugged individualism occupies their strife and fact of their human survival is on so little — bare feet, music, love. I love them both. The striving, searching, showing up to reach towards more…
Gee the Pierrot character is more than a ‘sad clown’ — apparently this pale faced character is a philosophy. So many art forms came out of one man, “Pierrot.”
Pierrot stood for people, struggling, sometimes tragically, to secure a place in the bourgeois world. And subsequent artistic/cultural movements found him related to their cause: the Symbolists saw him as a lonely fellow-sufferer. His white face and costume, suggesting not only innocence but the pallor of the lifeless.
Performing unmasked, with a whitened face, he wears a loose white blouse with large buttons and wide white pantaloons. Sometimes he appears with a frilled collaret and a hat, usually with a close-fitting crown and wide round brim, more rarely with a conical shape like a dunce’s cap.
I will be exploring this character some more in this series. I’m fascinated by the sympathetic clown who wears the most amazing pajamas I’ve ever seen and gets away with false eyelashes no matter which gender. This particular character has the look of “falling off her ice skates” which just happen to be platform shoes for the stage. The dreamlike quality of innocence and the mask of the struggling to an out of reach social class. Yet so beautiful though the stage lights might be a bit too bright!
There’s something about kissing in an old, tiny, uncomfortable VW bug. I’ve had a lot of experiences but this isn’t one of them. I relate more to the hoot owl in this painting. The wide eyed wonder. Why are they kissing in the middle of the road? Will the gear shifter go out and roll the bug into the woods? Do they care? Ahhh… but they are a cute couple, even though I didn’t quite get his youthful beard right. I think these two are having a wonderful time, enjoying dusk, their road trip and not knowing the secret curiosity of the owl on the roof.