Picture Post 16: Circus People

MR 504 Circus people, oil on canvas, 1060x1370 1990s, unsized

MR 504 Circus People, oil on canvas, 1060 x 1370 1990s.

This large scale painting features a group of circus¬†performers from Romania. Perhaps surprisingly, the inspiration was a small black and white photograph, the date is uncertain. The colour in Michael’s sketches for this work (see selection below) was established from the beginning. As always, drawing is the bedrock of this work, and many preparatory sketches were made before the canvas sprang into life. ¬†He used photographs purely for inspiration, never to copy, as a stepping off point. This picture was an opportunity to explore the complexities of the group portrait, to make each individual interesting in themselves, and to think about their relationship to the group. Where is the focus? Who might be the leader? What are their roles? Questions like this keep the painting alive!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 thoughts on “Picture Post 16: Circus People

  1. Reblogged this on when curiosity threatens and commented:
    I love the way this this painting plays with a tension between harmony and separateness. The composition and the beautifully balanced range of blues draws you in. Even the starkly contrasting reds are balancd at either side of the painting. Yet the more you look at the individuals, the less part of a group they feel. Their expressions are fiercely independent and little seems to unites them. There seems to be no connection. Yet the painting brings them together in a warm unifying embrace.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s