Monday, June 7, 2010

Water Ballerina

Water Ballerina
Original oil painting 11x14"
by Susan Roux

I took Martine-Alison for a walk. From my home, we can easily walk to two different ponds, though the forest keeps them hidden. She brought her camera. It was a beautifully warm, sunny day and we took our time strolling, benefitting from the pleasures nature offers. Our senses enjoyed the many sights and sounds, from birds to frogs to packs of just-emerged dragonflies that danced around merrily and even landed on us as tiny hitchhikers.

It was a day of simple pleasures.

The beach was filled with mothers and toddlers. Older children were still at school. We sat for awhile watching the activity. Martine-Alison instantly focused on a darling girl swimming in a ballerina tutu. Captivated from the little girls movements, her camera pointed at no one else. She thought she was taking pictures for me to use, as she knows I adore painting children at the beach.

But that didn't totally turn out to be the reality...

Once home, she decided to paint her too. We've always wanted to paint the same person together. Now we had the chance.

To make this happen, during our quickly diminishing visit, she had to deviate from her normal process. Typically she paints her 20x20" canvases with brushes smaller than my signing brush. Can you believe it? Smaller than a signing brush..?

It takes her nearly a month to complete one, though she paints day-in day-out. It was obvious we needed to speed up her process.

I passed her a cluster of larger brushes. At a half-inch wide, they seemed enormous to her! I laughed. She wanted to attempt my method. "Teach me," she said. (like she needs teaching...) So, bravely abandoning her comfort, Martine-Alison played with paint on a canvas whose finish is much rougher than her own. She's never painted so quickly!

Water Ballerina
Original oil painting 14x11"
by Martine-Alison

Four artists gathered here to have a painting party. It was the perfect activity for a rainy day. Svetlana Beattie saw what we were painting and she too decided to paint the little girl. Music was turned on. Of course it was Luka Bloom... Such a wonderful serenader for the activity of painting. Our bodies swayed like our brushes to his magical, dreamy music. The artists all said it was the best music to paint to.

It created a mood. An energy in the room. Suddenly Svetlana asked, in her strong Russian accent, if Luka just said, ballerina?

Oh yes, I replied. Ballerina, just like we're painting. Its my favorite song, Water Ballerina.

Water Ballerina? Its exactly what we're painting! she remarked.

Oh yes it was. And there suddenly, came the title to all of our paintings...

Water Ballerina
Original oil painting 14x11"
by Svetlana Beattie

I told Svetlana how I bumped into Luka while strolling castle grounds in Ireland. Our encounter amazed her. His spirit was circling in the room, affecting how we painted. She said I must write to Luka to thank him for his inspiration. So Luka, if you're listening, I just want you to know how wonderfully inspiring your music is. Its the perfect accompaniment for painting. You continue to chant me away to my glorious painting-zone...

We have three artists versions of a sweet little swimmer. They are as different as the artists are. One impressionistic, one an experiment and one that I'm finally happy with.

Too bad the child's mother will never know her daughter is artistically-captured for all eternity. Three times..!


  1. Susan, What a GREAT story! Have you thought of approaching an artist's magazine with this? I think it would make a good article for some publication. It's worth a shot...
    Love & Laughter...

  2. Very good. The one I like the most is the first. It reminds me Sorolla.

  3. c'est une bonne idée.. comme aux beaux-art's...
    nous n'avons jamais fini d'apprendre!
    et le sujet était parfait..
    salutations amicales à toutes les 3

  4. how beautiful, it makes me want to dip into some cool water too and appreciate the magic of colour.


  5. What a fantastic story! I love your artwork and these paintings are fabulous. So wonderful to see each individual's own style, yet really feel the mood of this little beauty dancing in the water!


  6. Lovely story and paintings! Maybe if you see the mother and daughter there again, you can tell her about the paintings... Thanks for visiting my blog and following!

  7. Ahh Luka the ol' charmer! It sounded like a perfect atmosphere for painting. You have a beautiful way with a story Susan you must have kissed the blarney stone when u were here! Please don't make me choose between the 3 ballerinas I love them all!

  8. I love how you all painted the same little girl and each painting is lovely! I enjoyed reading this post!

  9. Love the differences in each painting. and they are all wonderfull done. great job.
    I can see how miserable you both are in that miserable weather probably drinking out of dirty glasses.
    And her I sit in Wyoming with cold and snow to the edge of town and 1-3 feet forcast. Several folks[tourists]have come in the gallery today and talked about driving through snow to get here. So just enjoy your terrible weather.

  10. Very beautiful all the paintings, I enjoy seeing the different interpretations of the same subject, each in his own style. Certainly, a nice and interesting experience. Congratulations!

  11. Susan,
    I loved the whole story and both paintings. I can't believe your friend paints with such small brushes on such large canvas'. I would like to see one. Anyway, I have not visited since your daughter was coming to visit. I am backtracking and getting caught up. This was a great start.

  12. SUSAN: Thanks for being part of my blog, Dearest and fantastic work, congratulations Artist Rafael Plaza


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