Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Poofy Dress Girl

Me and My Poofy Dress, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 12x16

While I am so NOT a formal dance type of girl, I admit to being totally drawn into the photos of girls, and of couples all dressed up and ready to go to the dance. I have been trying to hold off on these because I want to clarify for myself about how to approach them; with irony, sadness, sarcasm, derision, admiration, envy, yearning, sweetness. Well, probably NOT sweetness, too obvious and again, not me. I have come to no great conclusions however, so I decided to just dive in and at least do one to start with. Maybe I will be able to find my way by doing rather than thinking which is usually the best way for me anyhow.

Oh, and big surprise, I am not a formal wedding type either, but you can't imagine how many wedding snapshots I have willingly collected. I am anxious to get to those too, and I am pretty sure there will be no sweetness there either. Hopefully the formal dance images will help me figure out how to do the weddings.

Anyway, I am pleased with the poofy dress girl. Maybe you all can tell me what you see in it?


Haley said...

The Debutante! This reminds me a bit of Madame X by John Singer Sargent.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Tracy, I think everyone can relate to the nostalgic aspect of this painting. We all have poofy dress events in our lives, either of our parent's era, ours or perhaps our children's.

Anonymous said...

Your portraits are getting better and better - not that they weren't terrific to begin with ;)

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

As an artist, it's hard not to analyze the design/color/composition of this wonderful painting. As a modern woman, I see a snapshot from a "gentler" time. Poufy dress girl is is waiting politely, she's well behaved and prepared for what comes next.

Shanster said...

I see hope of a good time... great work! I am also a bit enthralled with high fashion and remain a slovenly farm girl!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

OH! I like your painting too!
Reminds me of the time I put on my girlfriend's poofy green dress, makeup etc, and went to the college's dress-to-get-laid party....

Chris Rywalt said...

All I ask is that you NOT approach anything with irony. Please. We have enough of that.

I still think I would've composed this a little differently -- I think I said that on Facebook.

The scratched-in wallpaper pattern looks interesting.

Martha Marshall said...

Images like this likely grab something personal in all of us about hope and apprehension and dreams. Reminds me of a tiny black and white picture of me in my poofy prom dress that one of my sons glued to a plastic Christmas tree ornament and gave me one year. We still have that ornament.

It's a great idea for a series -- both the proms and the weddings.

Anonymous said...

I see paintings lacking in subject matter. They are all about technique, and that is not interesting enough. They don't tell a story. I can't imagine a gallery being able to sell this work. Just being honest. Look at Eric Fischl. Look at what he is doing with tension, a stories being a told. These are just a painting of a photo of a grandma. If the viewer does not know this person, it boring. It's just lacking so much. Stick with it, but grow.

Tracy said...

Haley, It's funny, when I was working on the area where the spaghetti straps are, I flashed on Sargent too. Seemed like an overwhelming comparison, so I quickly moved on. Thanks.

Janelle, glad you are getting nostalgia from this. I have mixed feelings about that, but to be honest it's one of the things I respond to in these images too.

Thanks Veronica, well I hope they will keep improving, they certainly are challenging anyway.

Diane, a different time, that's good. I was thinking that there is a lot of restraint in this piece and I like your take on it. Thanks.

Shanster, again we may be the same person, I love fashion and pay attention to it, but it is so not me. Not that I am UNfashionable though:)

Um Thanks Gary for the image of you in a poofy dress. How did that evening work out for you, by the way:)

Chris, I guess I was referring to personal irony of portraying something that is so not anything close to what I do. Not sure how I would express that anyway, but it crossed my mind as an approach.

Martha, what a great gift from your son, I may have to borrow the idea sometime:)

Anonymous, thanks for the honest feedback. I will respond to it in a future post, even though I don't condone anonymous criticism:) You have touched upon a few of my concerns with this series however, so I think it's worth writing about.

Deborah Ross said...

I love your lines

Kim Hambric said...

A pleasant evening ahead? Maybe. Maybe not. Her undergarments are no doubt constricting and chafing her. Will she be the most popular girl there? Doubtful. She never is. Will her date act appropriately or will he humiliate her somehow? Will she dance all night or will she be ignored? So many possibilities for the evening ahead, but one expected outcome.

I guess you can tell I didn't go to many successful dances in my time!

I feel this will be a successful series.

Robyn said...

I may not be qualified to judge but I am fascinated by this beautifully painted series. These paintings are far from lacking story - they each offer up their personal story and they also tell our stories. Not that I'd know ;)

I love this particular painting but it speaks to me of repression and all that was hidden in the fifties behind the neat, pleasant, comfortable but limited view of the world.

Tracy said...

Deborah, do you mean the scratched in lines?

Kim, hmm, it does sound as if your dance history is a bit suspect:) Thanks for the reassurance and I appreciate that you brought your experiences to my painting. I like that. But I hope you'll get some better dance experiences soon!

Robyn, I am very glad to hear your feedback and how you see this work. I like that everyone is seeing different things in this series, including someone who doesn't see anything. But maybe that's actually a story too:)