Art of Movement by Jeff Desautels

Most paintings show their subjects at rest, whether it is a still life, a landscape, or a figure or portrait, and in whatever medium it is painted..Sometimes, a landscape will contain a strolling figure or figures. Even in wildlife art, other than birds in-flight most paintings show the subject at rest. Pets are normally painted in repose, showing off the look and personality that attracted their owners in the first place. Grazers are typically grazing, and even hunting carnivores are usually painted watching rather than sprinting.

In the "art of movement" I show athletes -- both human and animal -- in dynamic motion. To help achieve this effect, I use painting knives . Using knives rather than brushes helps me to quickly and spontaneously show a gesture in dynamic movement. At the same time, I can create a rich texture and striking colors because of the way in which painting knives spread oil paints.

My first motion paintings were of skiers, typically in powder, trees or both. I concentrate on the skier rather than the surrounding landscape. I expanded my subject matter to include kayakers, soccer and baseball players, and animals such as dogs, elephants and horses.

I recently became fascinated with painting bicycle racing and especially the Tour de France. In addition to containing incredible movement in itself, the Tour is chock full of vibrant colors -- in the team uniforms ,the often-matching tee shirts of the crowds, and the banners and national flags lining the route. This allows me to use a colorful palette and I grew to love by studying the Russian Impressionists.

This site is dedicated to my first love, skiing and skiers. Most of the backgrounds are places I have skied and photographed. The skiers are painted from gestures I have seen most often in completely different places. I then merge the gesture with the appropriate background and terrain.

This technique lends itself very well to commissioned pieces. Thus, if you see a background that you like and have a photo of yourself skiing elsewhere, I can place you in that different background (unless you are snowplowing and you want yourself place in an avalanche chute!). The paintings on this site illustrate the technique, if still available may be purchased. Most of these paintings are also available as limited edition canvas giclee prints or as paper art prints.

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