Dancing with Picasso is part of my new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art. In this image, I explore the work of the Spanish creative genius Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Here, I present a classic Picasso image, The Three Dancers (1925).
The original painting features kinetic dancing figures, which are so evocative of abstract paper dolls that it leads me to think Picasso was exploring cutout shapes as inspiration for the painting.
Naturally, I had to explore cutout dolls myself for this painting, using the folded-paper technique that results in the dolls being joined together when the paper is unfolded. I can tell you that creating lithe, delicate cut-outs is harder than it looks! Several of my many iterations were too blocky. I kept at it, though, until I got dolls with just the right vibe and implied motion.
You can watch me create and paint the dolls in a brief video here: Dancing with Picasso on Instagram.
Every museum store in the world carries postcards of their most popular works. I have dozens of these cards featuring every style of painting imaginable.
In this new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art, I explore the artistry of these painters - marrying their iconic images with both abstract backgrounds and ultra-realistic still life objects to create something entirely new.
The background of Dancing with Picasso is, appropriately enough, created with abstract art techniques. To achieve the mottled effect, I painted the background and then dabbed the surface with crinkled brown paper to remove paint. Several layers made with this process were needed to get the depth I was seeking.
The blue painter’s tape holding the dolls was painted in the trompe l'oeil style. This term means “fool the eye” in French because the technique yields a visual illusion where the painted object looks real. Many times, I have visitors at art shows lean around to the side of paintings to see if there is actually blue tape stuck on the canvas. (There isn’t!)