Jeff Desautels Fine Art
Art of Movement

Most painting shows the subject at rest – whether a portrait, a still life, a reclining nude or a landscape. Even landscapes with people or animals tend toward the static – strolling people, grazing animals or predators in placid, reflective poses. In the “art of movement”, on the other hand, I attempt to put my paintings in motion, focusing most often on human or animal ‘athletes’ engaged in dynamic activities.

SkiingPainting knives help me attain rich texture quickly. This allows me to be more spontaneous and to impart more movement in the main subject. These paintings are more like portraits within a landscape than landscapes with figures. My first efforts involved painting skiers, including images of my son and me based on photographs we have taken of each other while skiing together. It was a natural step for me to use my love of skiing – especially in powder and trees – as a backdrop for my art.

I then expanded the ‘repertoire’ to include sports such as kayaking, soccer and most recently, bicycle racing. I also have painted animals in motion, using many of the same techniques I have used on human athletes. I have found bicycle racing, and in particular the intense drama and spectacle of the Tour De France and more recently, the Pro Cycling Challenge stage race in Colorado, an especially appropriate subject matter for the art of movement.

CyclingIn addition to capturing the movement itself of cyclists in a mass sprint at the end of a stage race, or working together to climb in a mountain stage, or careening downhill in the same race, I love the use of bright colors in the team uniforms. That has allowed me to use my passion for color, which I learned studying the Russian Impressionists, in an entirely new venue.

I plan to continue my journey of movement, along with the pursuit of more standard landscape subject matter, as I continue to explore the magic of knife painting. I will add new types of athletic and other subjects, in many cases as the mood of the moment ‘moves’ me.