La Danse

"La Danse" coloured pencil drawing, 260 x 315 mm. November 2013.

“La Danse” coloured pencil drawing, 260 x 315 mm. November 2013.

Remember “Take Me to the River”?  Here it is (below) to remind you.

"Take Me to the River" 240 x 525 mm, completed on 2nd October 2013.

“Take Me to the River” 240 x 525 mm, completed on 2nd October 2013.

The Little Pied Cormorant of “La Danse” is the same individual as the one in the drawing “Take Me to the River “.   I took the photos for these drawings on 19th September when a misty spring rain was falling.    In “Take Me to the River” the view is up-river towards East Fremantle.  In “La Danse” we look across the water to the riverbank opposite.  This area is part of North Fremantle.  It is a bonus when a bird is patient enough to let me get several different views of him in his surroundings.

Little Pied Cormorant is looking straight at us with his wings outstretched to ventilate his feathers.  He looks like he is striking a dance pose.  Even the trees, in their softness, suggest a stage set painting.  The wooden pile is the stage floor.  I had been viewing a documentary about the pupils of the Paris Opera Ballet during the period I was working on this drawing.  My mind was in ballet mode.  What ballet could this be?  There’s no swan and there’s no lake…therefore… “Cormorant River”?  (Come to think of it, there is a swan involved as this is the Swan River which flows from Perth to the sea at Fremantle.)

I wrote about my new Caran d’Ache wax and oil blender recently.   In “La Danse” the whole area behind the bird has been worked over with it.  While it makes the layers of colour more opaque, it doesn’t obliterate the white paper underneath.  (I like a hint of the paper below the colours to show through.  I think of it like breathing space.)  The blender knits together and enhances the colour layers without taking away any of the pencils’ subtlety.

While working on the new bird series, I see now that the elegance and intimacy I search for in romantic far away places like Kyoto and Paris are actually right here at home.  They’re here and I’m here.  What a discovery!

I have made a new “Subject” page.  It is called Subject 6: Birds in a landscape.  I will keep adding drawings to the page as I complete them.  “La Danse” is number 4.  Number 5 will be a pied oystercatcher – as long as my current work on the drawing board succeeds.

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4 thoughts on “La Danse

  1. anna warren portfolio

    With this drawing, I feel you are interpreting the subject matter in almost an abstract way. It is still clearly a bird in a landscape, but offers an extra layer of interpretation, which asks the viewer to keep coming back to see more. The two pieces work together very nicely. I will now go and see the rest of the set! (Also learn about your blender, which sounds an interesting tool!)

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thanks Anna, I think that extra layer of interpretation is due to the VERY blurred background. This is going to be the case for the next few drawings as well. I completely agree with you. Extra blur gives much more room for interpretation than extra sharp.
      I needed to put a fair bit of interpretation into the background as in the photo which I was working from, it was actually very brown and boring.


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