FKA Twigs had first come to my attention in 2016. While “Twigs” initially gained celebrity as a singer, it is both her origins in dance and her magically photogenic presence that drew me to her. And during that year, I had been creating my “Diaphanous” series. [This series can be simply defined as couture derived outlines – sans models.] This painting shown above had been inspired by an Elle magazine feature of FKA Twigs; although only the Salvatore Ferragamo dress as photographed by Paola Kudacki emerges in my work.
In this most recent illustration, FKA Twigs is finally seen and depicted as I have sketched here. This was done first with a mechanical pencil on student grade paper. After which I scanned and copied the image onto a textured piece of card stock so that I could add the chalky black background.
The color orange acts like a magnetizing force when it comes to my personal aesthetic. Symbolically speaking, orange seems to be as paradoxical as my own personality… translating as both warning and warmth. Utility and creativity. Ripe fruits and autumn’s leaves.
From this photo editorial shot by Carlos Serrao, model Wanessa Milhomem plunged into the waters wearing this blazing orange Cavalli dress. And as with my passion for orange, water cannot extinguish these flames!
I suppose it was inevitable. The time of arrival – when I would no longer have a mutually exclusive relationship with my own works. While I enjoy the kindness and support of my web base, hand rendered art really needs to be exposed to natural light. All of this to say, my own is now up at the Green Marble Coffee House for the entire month. And I would love for you to have a look!
In this painting, I have photographer Jorge Badura to thank. Harper’s Bazaar, in their November 2016 issue, called in Badura to photograph an editorial that had featured a group of fantastic, skyscraper scaling, aerialists who took to the skies while dressed in hautcoutures.
Hence the title: Diaphanous Scaling [“Gelato” painting, 14″ x 10″]
Rita Ora is featured within “Paper” magazine’s October issue, wearing a Roberto Cavalli dress – which in reality is what I would call a peacock-blue color. While Rita is a sensation, that Cavalli dress just had to taken for my Diaphanous series. And whatever the blue that it is, I rendered it instead in orange. The two alien objects depicted were taken from the same editorial [photographed by Nicolas Moore – no relation] are tracings from Rita’s zig zag bobby pinned crown.
In 1956, a photographer [without credit] from the Press Association caught Brigitte Bardot while she was in Cannes. To me, the dress that Bardot was wearing in this image appeared as joyous as the look on her face:
Brigitte Bardot, 1956
Below, is my own spin – which I painted using water colors:
For Sonia Rykiel’s Spring 2016 collection, Juergen Teller – a photographer who I’ve long considered as phenomenal – produced the looks for the ad campaign. In this gouache triptych, one of Rykiel’s dresses is duplicated. [In part in the top panel and in full, sans model Georgia May Jagger, in the bottom panel.] Floating between the top and bottom panels, a Balenciaga ruffled detail was used.
I was drawn to a tunic featured in the April 2016 issue of Elle. Although in this painted diptych, I’ve butchered it beyond recognition – with much due respect to photographer Liz Collins and the tunic’s designer, Michael Kors. Furthermore, this garment isn’t actually diaphanous – in that I had taken what was brown suede and then interpreted it in a very different way.
From the pages of Harper’s Bazaar. [Their March 2016 issue.] Calvin Klein trousers – as photographed by Camilla Akrans – and ruffles as seen in a Balmain ad. I painted the triptych here using “Gelato” colors, which I mixed only with water.
Within this presentation for Dior, my gaze fixated on only the bottom half of their ad. I had been working on a new triptych for my “Diaphanous” series and it seemed to be lacking… something… So, I have to thank Dior for providing me with an answer, found here:
Fashion magazines provide inspiration – particularly when the more voluminous September issues arrive. Billowy and ruffled clothing – which I rarely wear, if ever – found in some editorial spreads mesmerize me. Photographer David Sims captured model Liya Kebede in some crazy motion for Vogue’s Fall 2015 issue. Take special notice of her skirt:
From this I produced many variations of what I’ve been calling my Diaphanous series. As seen in this 5″ x 8″ gouache below: