Peter’s Crazy Aunt: start of chiaroscuro

Edward G. Nilges, “State of ‘Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to the Music of Bach, and of Clifton Chenier, the King of the Bayou, as of 22 Dec 2011”, acrylic wash on canvas, 60 * 80 cm

Follow the accidental effects where they lead in order to discover new things. The rule forces us to be free, as in Oedipus Rex who answered the Sphinx’s question by making something up but could not escape his fate. Kant. You’re not free when you shit around randomly, rather when you self-impose the Law.

I was looking forward to a smooth and classic shading, with the precision of the drawing letting me work without thinking. But the resistance if the brush and the variant ink strengths created as always a battle in which you didn’t realize that her body is darker in tone that you thought it would be. You end up channeling Cezanne despite the fact that the technique is the reverse, apparently, of his color slabs. Chunks model the curve and this creates a vigorous effect.

The SOUND of the bristle brush is part of the deal, and part of the ordeal even as I’ll never forget the talking rocks of Yosemite, the rock-strewn plain in which the rocks would make sounds when you walked on them. At any moment the acrylic wash has a different characteristic to work with: desiccant or flowing.

Her hand casts a shadow, therefore the light is most intense on her cheek-bones which shall give a more innocent look.

Her six pack creates a bold shadow on the right which will have to echo a deep shadow under her arm on the right and left thigh to show the diagonal twisting motion of her body. She’s executing a complex movement shown by the indentation above her shorts in the left, for the front muscle of the upper thigh is twisting her left leg to face left and in my experience this creates an indentation that I do not see so much as feel in the dance.

A shadow under her right arm joint, continued on the right of her six pack, shall need to be echoed by a deep shadow on the right of her left thigh to create three notes like the theme of the Kyrie in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and I ain’t kidding. What is this moment? What is she doing in the Now? Why does she seem so happy? And when her Mom would sneak down to the basement when she was 15, and take Polaroid pictures while she danced to Nirvana, she was pissed off, right? Aw Mom, NO! By 2005 she didn’t mind.

The Body is the Form of the Soul – Angels in America (I think).

Her black bra needs a subtle black on black chiaroscuro.

The central drama of her foot is a long muscle in the instep which does the dancer’s work and is prone in my case to spaz out after a long run.


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