In the 80s or 90s there was a cold duck pink sparkling wine advert that encouraged you to “fluff out your tail feathers”. My new danseur certainly has his tail feathers well-fluffed. He’s also light and pink and bubbly. Pretty much like the sweet summery sparkling duck we’d sip in the sunshine. Here he is:
^ As light as a feather
His inspiration was a different kind of water bird though. The beautiful flamingo. Pink and flamboyant. 🦩
When I was a child, we had a picture book that made flamingos look enormous. I expected them to be the same size as an ostrich. What a travesty when I discovered that they’re comparatively quite dinky.
In my late 20s, I lived in a wetland area. When the water level was right, the flocks of pink waders on the water were quite a sight. Glorious. Made up for my childhood disappointment that flamingos aren’t as big as ostriches.
This flamingo danseur painting isn’t ostrich-sized either. I’d gladly paint you a giant one if you want to commission me to create one. What joy that would be! But this feathered beauty is a dinky 10 by 12. Ideal for shelf art and big enough to hold his own hung on your wall. He looks particularly good against a blue-grey wall btw. And I’d recommend a glossy white floating frame.
I painted him not long after the Bluebird and Oberon danseurs. My initial quest was two-fold. Firstly, to move away from recognisable ballet characters and imagine entirely new ones. Secondly, to continue my explorations of limited colour palettes. Hence, the pink and white colour scheme.
He evolved playfully, my focus on creating the sense of lightness and movement that a good danseur conveys. One of those paintings that was so enjoyable to create that I felt a tinge of disappointment when I realised it’s finished and my delight has come to an end all too soon. Now he’s ready to delight you.