The Round Dance

by Alden Cole on January 22, 2014 · 0 comments

AppleLoversWP#2 in a series of old sketches from 1974, revised two weeks ago, using a #2 pencil on paper, 10.5″ x 14″

On January 6, 2014 I reworked the second drawing of the dozen resurrected while reviewing old files at Christmas and selected as pieces needing a little attention. In less than an hour or so I brought the drawing to its present state. This motif, first expressed in the above sketch, was reprised in a simplified version a few years later in the early ’80s, as a detail from one of the later pieces in the Crystal Cave Reflections series, seen below: Jumpin’ Jack Flash, liquid oils on cardboard, 30″ x 18″.

JumpinJackFlashWPStarting around 1978 while still living in NYC, I started experimenting with oil paints liquified in small bottles using either turpentine, linseed oil or varnish. The surface to be painted – ideally a substantial substrate such as wood panel, stretched canvas, mat board, even thin cardboard – was placed flat on the work table. After pouring a selection of colors onto the surface, I would lift and tilt the surface to move the liquid paint around; encouraging the colors to run, blending in unusual combinations; revolving it at differing angles; tilting the surface vertically for a few seconds; laying it flat again; even shaking it; moving paint around with the fingers; expelling breath up close to the surface to create flower-burst effects. It was great fun; the results were the basis of my ‘Spin Art’ series – those colorful abstractions that reminded me of the photos of Jupiter and its moons, sent back to earth from the Mariner Jupiter/Saturn 1977 probe, during its flyby of the magnificent planet. After drying, which took several weeks for a few pieces, I stenciled figurative motifs onto the colorful surfaces, at first using one particular figure-spiral motif which eventually evolved into others – like the one picked up from today’s pencil drawing – figures usually inspired by dancers dancing -singly or pas de deux – jumping, leaping, twisting, turning, swirling through colorful chaotic space…

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