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After a year of new collaborations and innovations in my figure painting, it's time to scale things up.
After a year of new collaborations and innovations in my figure painting, it's time to scale things up.
73 backers pledged £4,628 to help bring this project to life.

About

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This project will enable me to spend two months working with professional dancers, producing a series of at least ten large, dynamic paintings on canvas, as well as smaller pictures on panel and paper. It will build directly on ideas and techniques I’ve been developing since early 2015, taking my work in exciting new directions as I prepare for the next stage of my artistic career.

Since graduating from St Martin’s School of Art in the early 90s I’ve been painting the human figure from life. Around five years ago my focus shifted from the nude to portraiture, and more recently I’ve begun to explore more gestural, narrative themes and compositions, and to develop more collaborative approaches to working with models, particularly dancers.

Beth and Beth 2 (oil on panel, 18cm x 23cm), 2016
Beth and Beth 2 (oil on panel, 18cm x 23cm), 2016

Working with Ballet Cymru in the rehearsal studio and with contemporary dancers in my painting studio, I’ve also been experimenting with a new approach to painting. Producing rapid sketches in oil and charcoal (such as the little paintings of Beth above), I also shoot digital film of sittings which I then loop and project on a screen in the studio.

Angharad Harrop 4 (oil on panel, 18cm x 23cm) and FreeHaus 1 (oil on canvas, 110cm x 130cm), 2016
Angharad Harrop 4 (oil on panel, 18cm x 23cm) and FreeHaus 1 (oil on canvas, 110cm x 130cm), 2016

Using both sketches and film footage projected at close to life-size, I have enough reference material to continue working with the model no longer present. This allows much more time to be spent producing finished paintings, and - especially in the case of particularly strenuous or dynamic poses which can be held only for a short time - means I can attempt more ambitious pictures than would otherwise be possible (such as the large canvas of Angharad above). 

Ballet Cymru rehearsals, Allegra (oil on panel, 30cm x 30cm) and Mark (oil on panel, 23cm x 30cm), 2016
Ballet Cymru rehearsals, Allegra (oil on panel, 30cm x 30cm) and Mark (oil on panel, 23cm x 30cm), 2016

Developing this new approach and collaborating with such talented people from another artistic discipline has been an extraordinary experience, and has, I feel, led to a distinct breakthrough in my practice as a painter. I'm very excited to be taking it forward. 

Lila 3 (oil on panel, 23cm x 30cm) and Lila 9 (oil on canvas, 66cm x 86cm), 2015
Lila 3 (oil on panel, 23cm x 30cm) and Lila 9 (oil on canvas, 66cm x 86cm), 2015

This project will give me a two-month period of financial security, enabling me to take time away from primary school supply teaching and other casual jobs to focus entirely on painting. I'll be able to purchase canvas, paint and other materials and equipment, employ dancers to work in my studio, and sustain the kind of creative momentum that would not usually be possible for me.

One thing I'm particularly keen to experiment with is poses involving multiple dancers, which I've very little experience of at the moment, but which suggests a great many possibilities.

Ballet Cymru rehearsal - Nation of two (oil on canvas, 100cm x 75cm), 2016
Ballet Cymru rehearsal - Nation of two (oil on canvas, 100cm x 75cm), 2016

Any funds raised in addition to the Kickstarter target will be used to extend the project further and produce yet more paintings for the new collection - a selection of which will be presented to galleries in 2017, and form the basis of future exhibition proposals. 

Ultimately, my hope is that this focused period of work will lead to the creation of exciting new paintings and exhibitions that the public will enjoy - building on my current practice and artistic collaborations, celebrating dance, and making a real contribution to the arts. 

Updates will be posted via Kickstarter, as well as on my website and social media. 

Risks and challenges

There is always the possibility that unexpected issues may arise, but having planned and delivered projects of a similar or larger scale to this in the past (for example, producing my 2014 exhibitions of stage performers), I'm confident that I can manage this project effectively.

I'm very happy at the prospect of collaborating further with some of the dancers I've been working with to date - and possibly others - and know that they will be great partners in this project.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.30

    Big thanks!

    And a high-five if our paths cross!

    All support towards making this project a success is greatly appreciated.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    Set of four A6 prints

    Set of four postcard-sized images of oil sketches from Ballet Cymru rehearsals and studio sessions with Beth Powlesland and Angharad Harrop. Edition limited to KickStarter project.

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    Pledge £40 or more About $52

    10" x 8" print, plus A6 prints

    Signed print of one of the new canvases created during the project, plus set of four postcard-sized prints of oil sketches (all limited edition for KickStarter project)

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    Pledge £120 or more About $156

    Set of four 10" x 8" prints, + A6 prints

    Set of four signed prints of new paintings from the series, plus set of four A6 prints (all limited edition for KickStarter project)

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    Pledge £180 or more About $234

    Figure drawing workshop for six (max)

    Draw and be drawn with up to five friends in my South Wales studio - with one or two people modelling throughout, or alternating between different members of the group.

    Inspired by the regular life drawing/portraiture workshops I run at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, this four-hour session will be tailored to the needs and experience of participants.

    Easels, charcoal, paper and other materials will be provided, as will lunch (or cream tea, depending on time of day).

    Any time from November. Please contact me to discuss arrangements.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £300 or more About $390

    Original panel painting, plus prints

    Select an original panel painting from 1999 to the present - includes nudes, portraits of musicians, actors and comedians, and more recent paintings of dancers.

    Please see Works on Panel gallery under Artworks at www.carlchapple.com. All pictures not marked as sold are available.

    Please contact me to confirm availability and selection.

    For an indication of scale and possible framing options, please see the website's Gallery, which has images from past exhibitions.

    Includes four A6 prints plus signed 10" x 8" print from series (possibly delivered separately).

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    Pledge £450 or more About $586

    Original portrait, plus prints

    Monochrome oil painting on panel of a sitter of your choice, up to 30cm x 30cm in size, painted from life in my studio or from a suitable digital image.

    Composition and palette, etc, can be discussed, and could include anything from a traditional 'head and shoulders' portrait to a more dynamic image incorporating a full figure.

    Please see Works on Panel gallery under Artworks at www.carlchapple.com for examples of previous work on this scale, and Gallery for exhibition photos of framed pictures.

    Please note, delivery date will be dependent on practical arrangements.

    Includes four A6 print plus signed 10" x 8" print from series (possibly delivered separately).

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    Pledge £900 or more About $1,171

    Original painting on canvas, plus prints

    Original painting created as part of the project. Oil on canvas, up to 100cm x 75cm.

    A number of pictures will be available, and can be selected during the project or at its conclusion.

    Delivery date to be agreed according to requirements and circumstances.

    Includes four A6 prints plus signed 10" x 8" print from series (possibly delivered separately).

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Funding period

- (30 days)