Dear Cleo 17 12 19

Dearest Cleo

I hope you are getting excited about Christmas, I am, it’s only a few days away now before the magic begins. In the meantime I am carrying on with my parallel project.

Parallel Project Collaboration

02 Dancing at the easel 

There is a famous photograph taken by Ker-Xavier Rousse of Cezanne at his easel and for all of the world you would swear he was dancing. I have been taking an easel to life class and am beginning to understand this phenomena, the tendency to dance at the easel seems to be a natural human reaction to an easel. There is another famous photograph of Cezanne by Gertrude Osthaust where he is dancing with a chair, maybe that day the easels were all busy, dancing with someone else.

Continuing with the theme of collaboration, when Cleo came round, I gave her my easel to play with along with some pens and some pastels. Having command of the easel, Cleo assumed the role of teacher, which was illuminating but far more important than that, she danced at the easel. Being young she is not so conscious of the camera and was quite natural in her movements.

Figure 1 (17 11 27 01) Cleo dancing at the easel 1 Digital photograph

Figure 2 (17 11 27 02) Cleo dancing at the easel 2 Digital photograph

Figure 3 (17 11 27 03) Cleo dancing at the easel 3 Digital photograph

Figure 4 (17 11 27 04) Cleo dancing at the easel 4 Digital photograph

Figure 5 (17 11 27 05) Cleo dancing at the easel 5 Digital photograph

Figure 6 (17 11 27 06) Cleo dancing at the easel 6 Digital photograph

Figure 7 (17 11 27 07) Cleo dancing at the easel 7 Digital photograph


Figure 8 (17 11 27 08) Cleo dancing at the easel 8 Digital photograph

Figure 9 (17 11 27 09) Cleo dancing at the easel 9 Digital photograph

Figure 10 (17 11 27 10) Cleo dancing at the easel 10 Digital photograph

Figure 11 (17 11 27 11) Cleo dancing at the easel 11 Digital photograph

Figure 12 (17 11 27 12) Cleo dancing at the easel 12 Digital photograph

While all this performance art was going on, some traditional art was produced as a record of the performance.

Figure 13 (17 11 27 13) Perspective pastel on A2 grey sugar paper

I think this is lesson one in perspective from one who could only intuitively know the meaning of the word, the close up flower, the middle distant tree and the far away sun. You can see from the dancing above that the tree came first, the flower pushes the tree into the background by overlapping and chroma and the sun though small asserts its power through colour.

Figure 14 (17 11 27 14) Freya charcoal and pastel on A2 grey sugar paper

I watched this being drawn and was overwhelmed by the single shapes that were drawn, Cleo drew the legs and tail with a single lines encompassing both sides of the contour, it was breathtaking to watch.

Figure 15 (17 11 27 15) Trace of an Artists book Sharpie on A2 grey sugar paper

Cleo made an artist’s book from her third piece, and together we drew around the holes in the page to trace the holes onto a new sheet of A2 Sugar paper

Figure 16 (17 11 27 15) The Boxers Sharpie and pastel on A2 grey sugar paper

A collaboration later in the evening inspired by the earlier work

What did I learn? Lots really, the perspective and linearality of the cave paintings is maybe an inbuilt human trait, needs more experiments and investigation really but it feels like a truth. I learned to have more confidence in my contour drawing, perspective is more relevant to the mind than the eye and dancing at the easel is the future and the past.  These are very big truths to draw from a single observation but are not to be forgotten lest a recurrence should occur.

Thank you darling for your help in my investigations and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Love as always

Mickos xx