Edgar Degas

Dancers in the Studio

We all know at least one or two of Edgar Degas’ paintings. We have seen them at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France or at the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York. But, have you really ever looked at one? When you did what did you think? Some of you would say they are amazing and some might say…Huh?

I recently read a fiction book called “The Art Forger” by B. A. Shapiro.  It was a good book and I recommend it. I picked it up because I am concentrating on art right now. I thought reading about art, even a fiction novel, might inspire me. Well it did. The story was interesting enough but the way Shapiro describes the After the Bath painting was moving.  I could imagine this painting in my mind perfectly. Although, it is a fictitious painting it is modeled after some of Degas most famous works. As I read I had luminous visions of dazzling, intense and brilliant color.

After I finished the book I couldn’t get the image of The Art Forger’s painting out of my mind. So, I started dreaming of painting my own Degas! Even though the Bath series is famous I have been always taken with the dancer series. If I close my eyes I can still see them, full of life, on the walls in the museums in Paris. Oh how I miss those days of wandering through the Paris museums on a whim. Anyway, I started looking for a painting to work on and found this one by Degas. I like it because of the beautiful colors on the dancer’s dresses. The walls are reflecting the vibrant colors. My version changed it a bit because I like things more centered. I like symmetry.

One of the reasons why I said some people might say “huh?” at first is because Degas played with different views of his models. He didn’t always balance a painting perfectly. One of his paintings the dancers are all on one side almost dancing out of the painting. As much as I like balance I think Degas was brilliant to use a different perspective. If you think about it you never get to see a show or a concert in perfect balance. I always have the cheap seats and are on the side or up so high my perspective is totally different that the lucky people in the seats dead center.

When you look at mine version please remember I did today in a few hours. I still have a few more coats to do on it before I say it is done. But I wanted to share now since this is my “art journey.”  I hope you enjoy seeing one of Degas’ beautiful paintings, and the start of a painting that is merely a humble copy. Nonetheless, it is a copy in the name of education, wisdom and culture; merci beaucoup Monsieur Degas.

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