January 4, 2011

May the fever begin!

The Flamenco fever I mean. Whenever I take a look at a collection of my work, what strikes me and I think what will most obviously strike anyone is the amount of red in it. While my palette is predominantly warm most of the time, red seems to be the most common hue that I use. I am I love cadmium red and cadmium deep red. And cannot live without burnt sienna. Reds and browns give me an unparalleled high. So it isn't any rocket science that I chose to paint Flamenco now, as an extension to my dancer series.

This painting is very heavy in texture, much more than all my other work. Almost as much as "The world ahead" I could say. And this, is partly by design and partly by accident. After I did "Treasure Hunt" last year, I began another abstract and brought about a lot of texture on this canvas. It did not turn out true to what I had in mind, that I scraped the idea and just left it. Now I picked up the same canvas and started from scratch by applying black gesso over it. Something liberating about scraping a piece of art that has reached a dead end. The texture still stayed and has formed a nice backdrop to this painting.

Flamenco #1
Acrylics on Canvas, 16 by 20 inches
© Nithya Swaminathan

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I did not want to do the kind of background that I did for all my belly dancers. There, I always did the background as a hazy mix of warm colors, to suggest movement. In this painting though, I was looking for something that would accentuate the texture and create more drama. I have thus used a combination of copper and black in the background, suggesting some metallic hues. It was terrific doing the background, more fun than the actual painting itself.

The dancer too is entirely done with the palette knife. The gorgeous frills in her dress were a real treat to work with the knife. This is one dancer painting where the background actually has more texture, though the entire painting is quite three dimensional in nature. I stopped short of adding details to her hands and face as I wanted it to remain a little hazy, a bit in movement. In the flow of the dance.

Let me know what you think of this one. Of course, there are more flamenco pieces to follow, while the belly dancers too will continue on one end. And the Tango too! :-) So which dancers do you like the most? In my paintings I mean. Let me know.:)

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