Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jumping Off Point - Tap Dance Series Charcoal Drawing

"Jumping Off Point"
18" x 24" charcoal on paper
©2011 Stacy L. Rowan

This is my newest charcoal drawing. I finished it earlier this month and then had to wait for a bright day to snap a photograph of it. (And I might try again since I'm not 100% happy with this shot.)

I had so much fun working on this drawing. As with the rest of the series, my "jumping off point" for this drawing was the motion. I love how everything is moving in the drawing except that front foot, and I love the contrast between the sharp detail of that foot and the softer lines and edges in the legs.

This drawing is bigger than my other charcoal pieces in the series. I wanted to create a sense of space for all of this motion to take place in without feeling cramped. I also worked to create a feeling of distance between the front foot and the back foot. It is a big movement and I wanted to convey that to the viewer.

My model for this drawing is my friend and tap teacher Rochelle Haynes. I met her when I began taking the Tap Ties advanced tap class and I was blown away by her talent. She has a style of dance that is very intricate and that squeezes so many sounds into a single eight count. But somehow her dancing never looks hurried and she manages such clarity in each of the sounds. She makes it look and sound easy, but I can tell you from experience that it is not!

In addition to choreographing some wonderfully complex and intricate pieces she occasionally also pulls out some mad tricks to challenge the class. The reference for this drawing is a shot of her landing after one of those special moves. It might have been some kind of wing, but I was watching through the camera lens so I'm not really sure.

Rochelle was an awesome muse and I have many references from our photo shoot. I am sure you will be seeing the product of some of those references again in this series.

Thank you Rochelle! When I grow up I would be thrilled to be half as good at tap as you.

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