These sketches were worked and reworked in ink and crayon and charcoal and water with no clear direction.
I drew this one evening using the music to drive the strokes of charcoal. I wet it and scraped back to the white highlights with a fragment of lava. While cropping the photo, I noticed the invert function that reversed black and white. The original is below.
Last week, I watched a stunning performance of the ballet “Bye” danced by Sylvie Guillem, set to this piece and choreographed by Mats Ek.
However, the image I have drawn owes more to a set of line drawings by the late painter Barbara Tate and to archival photographs of 1940s Soho. In her early 20s, Tate found employment as a maid, keeping house for a prolific and dramatic sex worker.
Previously I posted a set of drawings from the YouTube clip of this Mats Ek ballet, with the haunting music from Fläskkvartetten. Before drawing those pieces, I watched the clip over and over, painting largely without looking on scraps of paper, trying to get the feeling and rhythm of the work.
Each time I watch, I am struck by something new. At the end, how hard she breathes as she beats upon the door.