Several years ago I came across a fabulous little book that truly inspired me. On the cover is a mult- figure piece in an orange and blue color palette. A beautiful image of ballerinas. Their instructor or perhaps, and more likely a choreographer stands in the midst of them explaining some steps or emotion they are to convey in their dancing. It is a horizontal image, with most dancers blending into the background, not fully rendered, and all but one focusing their attention on this single choreographer. This one dancer facing us, her head turned upward, appears lost in her own world, perhaps dreaming of what it will be like for her to be dancing on the stage before an audience.
I can't remember where I came across this little book, but I was immediately captured by the subject, at the time I was in ballet classes myself and have always been moved by the beauty of the ballet. I was even more compelled to own this book as I saw such power in the true beauty of the abstraction and design on the images in the following pages.
The artist whose work was in the pages of this small book is Robert Heindel. This was my first exposure to Heindel's work and wow I just fell in love with it. I love the realism combined with abstraction and design, so many beautiful lost edges, value and color pattern. There is so much feeling in his work, its just amazing. Heindel was an illustrator for many years before turning to doing work for himself and becoming a gallery painter. In this little book he talks about the freedom he was experiencing in not having to please a client and having all those deadlines. He mentions how being free from that pressure had helped him grow as an artist. Heindel passed away in 2005 at the age of 67 but his work and voice live on in his amazing paintings and illustrations.
All of the paintings, drawing and pastels reproduced in this book were inspired from his work with the Royal Ballet Company and several other ballet companies he worked with. You can really tell how familiar he was with the ballet and the drawing of human anatomy, you can feel the strength of his subjects, the weight and strain of muscles the dancers have and yet they are full of elegance and grace. He talked about how he was not as much interested in the technique and getting everything dead on correct but rather being more interested in the emotion and feeling of the piece. However, without a doubt you can see his knowledge of drawing and anatomy coming through each piece.
I believe this was the first “Art book” I ever owned and it is a constant inspiration to me, the images are full of life, emotion, movement and strength, all of I which I aspire to emulate in my own work.