New Work - Beginning of Summer 2014.

Drypoints in late 2013 and the first half of 2014: More portraits, dancers, and nudes

Ariela with her Print
"Ariela with her print"
(Ariela K. holding her drypoint portait, January, 2014)

January 2014 Ariela
"January 2014 Ariela"
(Drypoint engraving on aluminum, January 2014)

In late 2013 and early 2014 I began to do a series of drypoint portraits of the members of the El Paso Youth Ballet, a small, but very talented dance company in my home town. I am fortunate that I have the run of the studio and rehearsal spaces at the El Paso Conservatory of Dance (The EPYB home) - I can draw, photograph, or just hang around as much as I like. I perform for them in some of their productions (E.g.: as Herr Drosselmeyer in their annual production of The Nutcracker, or as Sancho Panza in their recent production of Don Quixote), and sometimes I do a little bit of set design for their productions when needed. All in all it is a fertile and stimulating place to work, and the high caliber of dancing and the general professional milieu is one I respect and value greatly. There are lots of subjects to draw there and it is a pleasure to give one of the portraits to each of my subjects once I complete them (although I sell them to everyone else!)

January 2014 Lesley
""January 2014 Lesley""
Drypoint engraving on aluminum, (2014)

January 2014 Rebecca
""January 2014 Rebecca""
Drypoint engraving on aluminum, (2014)

Lesley is a dancer I have known since she was a gawky pre-teen with braces. I have had the pleasure of watching her blossom from a talented little girl into an extraordinary and intelligent dancer who performs lead roles such as Odile-Odette in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Giselle in the ballet by that name. She is the ballerina at the EPYB as well as an all-around teacher and role model for the younger dancers. January 2014 Lesley (2014) is a small sized (8 by 10 inch) drypoint engraving on aluminum made as part of the series of portraits of the EPYB, and I hope it captures a bit of her quirky charm. January 2014 Rebeccca (2013) is another of the EPYB portrait series -- Rebecca is in her early teens and she is becoming an awesomely talented performer who may be the future of the company someday. She comes froma a great family (her little sister Emma is a 7-year old dancer who is a quirky package of energy), and Rebecca is a delight to watch and draw.

Sophia Mouse
"Sophia Mouse"
Drypoint on aluminum, (December, 2013)

Emma in Chinese
""Emma in Chinese""
Drypoint engraving on aluminum, (2014)

Sophia Mouse is a portrait of the youngest member of the 2013 EPYB Nutcracker performances. At 3 1/2 years of age she was a little pro and a delight to have in the group of "mice" that I trained to do their roles as complements to my role as Herr Drosselmeyer. Little Sophia stole the show, of course! Emma H. is a tall and elegant beauty who performed the Chinese variation in the ballet. In her 8 by 10 inch drypoint on aluminum portrait I tried to capture her likeness as she watched from the wings.

Topless in a rehearsal tutu
"Topless in a rehearsal tutu"
Drypoint on aluminum, 4 by 6 inches (May, 2014)

Iriana in May 2014
""Iriana in May 2014""
Drypoint engraving on aluminum, 4 by 6 inches (2014)

Topless in a rehearsal tutu and Iriana in May 2014 are two small (4 by 6 inch) drypoints that are sized to be printed on my small, portable Galleon Halfwood press. In both of these images I was enjoying depicting the thick hair of the two models. They are just quick little sketches, and the one of iriana is a sort of gesture sketch with the drypoint tool - fun!

Dancing in Light
"Dancing in Light"
Drypoint engraving on aluminum, (June, 2014).

I have always enjoyed drawing the model who posed for the Dancing in the Light image - she is one of my favorite people, in addition to being a talented, creative collaborator. In June 2014, when it came time to do a figure-drawing print to start my new phase of life (retirement from University work) I chose this subject, and decided to work in color as well, something I have neglected in the past. "Dancing in Light" is 9 by 15 inches in size, and printed in a set of Akua color variants on Hahnemuhle Bright White paper on my larger, Takach Press.

Perhaps I should mention that all of my nude models are adults that work professionally - I don't find them at the Youth Ballet...I only work with professional models for nude work, and try to keep my three general categories of portraits, ballet subjects, and nudes separate. Fortunately there are some wonderfully talented models out there, and I respect and value their contribution to my work.

Drypoint engraving on aluminum (2014)

Drypoint on aluminum (2014)

Reniel and Lestter are two of the Cuban male dancers and teachers who perform with the EPYB. Great guys as well as talented dancers and creative artists.

Head Slightly Turned
""Head Slightly Turned""
Drypoint engraving on aluminum (2014)

February 2014 Monique
"February 2014 Monique"
Drypoint on aluminum, 4 by 6 inches (2014)

Head Slightly Turned is a study of Samantha F., one of my favorite portrait subjects. I have been exploring depicting different angles of the head, and this drypoint sketch on aluminum is one example. February 2014 Monique is a portrait study of one of the younger dancers in the Conservatory - my, what eyelashes that girl has!

Drypoint engraving on aluminum (2014)

January 2014 Valeria
"January 2014 Valeria"
Drypoint on aluminum (2014)

ilissa is a study of one of the younger dancers in the Conservatory. January 2014 Valeria is a portrait study of the shortest dancer in the Youth Ballet - a real package of energy, she usually has a face filled with a remarkable smile, although I depict her here in a more pensive moment. By the way, because I am drawing many of the dancers more than once, I have started adding the month of the portrait to the title. It also helps me track the changes in these kids as they grow - a sort of longitudinal drawing project.

February 2014 Samantha R-M
""February 2014 Samantha R-M""
Drypoint engraving on aluminum (2014)

Rebecca in Waltz
"Rebecca in Waltz"
Drypoint on aluminum (2014)

There are several dancers named Samantha in the Conservatory, and here I share a portrait of one who should not be confused with my more regular portrait subject, Samantha F. Both are lovely and talented - February 2014 Samantha R-M is the portrait I made as part of the project to draw all of the dancers in the EPYB. Rebecca in Waltz is a portrait study of Rebecca, a sketch that shows a different mood and angle of this talented dancer in her 'Waltz of the Flowers' headpiece from the December 2013 EPYB Nutcracker performance.

Hannah V
"Hannah V"
Drypoint engraving on aluminum (2014).

Hannah V is someone I have wanted to draw for a long time. She dances in a studio about 35 miles from the El Paso Conservatory of Dance, so I rarely get to see her, but for the Spring 2014 performances of Don Quixote she joined the EPYB and I was able to depict her lovely and striking face. I like drawing in a style that is influenced by Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite artists, and Hannah certainly has that kind of face. She is a lovely person, too.

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This page by B. H. Giza - Updated June 5, 2014