Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ethereal acrobat

Earlier in the month, a gentleman who bought one of my pieces hanging in a local coffee shop referred to my art as "ethereal". I took that as a compliment, since I like that word and actually try and get something to that effect in some of my work.

Here are some of the definitions I found for the word ethereal:

light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.
heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.
of or pertaining to the upper regions of space.

I originally was going to do another animal drawing but decided to try something different this time. Squirrels instantly came to mind, since they are incredibly deft travelers of the trees. Well, I've already recently drawn some of those. How about humans for once? I thought about circus performers and tried to find some images to work from online. I saw quite a few good drawings and paintings of acrobats. I also found some great material from You Tube, including Big Apple Circus star Dolly Jacobs who performed one of the most difficult Aerialist tricks of all time, and can be viewed below, from a clip from 1985. While I can appreciate the modern acts of today's acrobats, I'm actually drawn to the less artsy-fartsy, sensory overload of the more modern acts, preferring the simplicity and beauty, not to mention insane skill of past performers like Dolly, who seem to have come from a bygone era of great acrobatic performers. For the current Illo Friday prompt, "acrobat", I ended up pausing and taking a screen shot from the performance featured below, later altering it in Picnik, then Photoshop. It was already somewhat of an interesting image, because of the way the camera caught a sort-of double image of Dolly throughout much of the performance, giving it an almost "ghostly" effect. While this image is essentially a digitally manipulated photo, I'd like to try some drawing and sketching of acrobats in the near future.