“Firework”

 © 2017 Natasha Nashadka

36″x48″, oil on cradled hardwood panel

How She Got Her Name

If you look at skilled dancers, “explosive” is a great adjective to describe the power behind their talent.

I looked at the sinewy muscles and the height of the this dancer’s leap and was in awe.

From the original image, she could have been leaping into an inky pool or the black void of space.

Over and over I was imagining her exploding onto the stage, but with the spotlight just on her, she became a fiery meteor in the sky – a firework – her graceful leaps like the arc of glowing embers.

In the Beginning: Testing Out a Few Ideas

I didn’t intend the background to become so dark. Indeed, the samples I first produced were turquoise and then red. It’s funny how paintings evolve like that.

But these beautiful textures and colors would have eclipsed the dancer.

Things I Would Tell You If You Were Here

First I’d point out the original size of the image I had to work with. I had to blow it up 1000%. Well, I just made that number up, but it’s somewhere in that ballpark. Either way, it was insanely small.

Normally I would refuse to work with an image needing that much enlargement. I’ve turned down some clients for this exact problem.

But I have a problem saying no. (Except to my husband.)

The next thing I would say to you is, “Look at the size of this thing! It’s 36×48 inches – the largest painting I’ve ever attempted.”

See it in my studio!

I have a tiny studio (which I love nonetheless). Note my palette on the floor and another commission on my easel. What you don’t see is a third commission spread over my kitchen table! (Which is the reason we were also sitting on the floor to eat meals.)

Lots of Texture

Lastly, I’d tell you to touch it. The background is rich in texture and layers of thick paint. Unfortunately, photographs just aren’t going to do the painting justice.

What appears as black, is actually a deeply dark luscious red.

View the Head in Progress

*click to open the lightbox

In The End

She was with me many months, and by the end I did not want to let her go. But you saw my studio! If I wanted to start any other projects, she needed to make way. I hear she has a beautiful (and large!) wall to herself.

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