My art’s a far fucking cry from that of Edgar Degas. I tried for actual years when I was younger to paint in a similar style. They always say that that’s how you should begin doing any type of fine or performing art really: mimic someone else who does it better than you! Degas always has been and always will be my absolute favorite artist because of his mastery of movement.
He worked primarily with pastels and layered them in such as way as to elicit the feeling of movement and grace from his subjects. His subjects, quite obviously, were dancers. He was fascinated by them and would often sort of stalk dance studios, hanging about for hours at a time just to be able to better study the way they move.
When I look at these dancers, I can anticipate the move they’re transitioning into, how they’ll glide into it, and how it sounds.
I also love the way the backgrounds are generally blurred, especially when the dancers are mid-dance. It looks so much like the way it feels to dance/perform, in my experience anyhow; you just drown out everything around you and live inside of yourself for a bit. You may see flashes of this or that, but generally the world tends to slow down and blur out into this beautiful kaleidoscope of color.
Every now and again I get to see a small sampling of his work at the Philly Museum of Art, but I’d love to see more someday.