Work in Progress

Stories From the Studio

The inspiration and discoveries, challenges and journeys behind my works. See completed work here.

December 2023: The last 5% of a painting is often the hardest. As a result, I don’t always finish pieces in the order I started them. Somehow, I’ve just completed two on the same day that I began months apart. Here is the making of one of them: ‘a little farther yet’

July 2020: Much of my recent work has focused on bodies in motion, mostly dancers. I am a fan of modern dance. Sometimes when watching a live performance – very often by Portland’s amazing NW Dance Project – I will look down and see that my hands are air drawing. A still photo can freeze action, but it can’t capture movement. The challenge of a painting is to do both.

I have never before tried to paint a pas de deux – two dancers responding to each other’s movement. As I worked up sketches, I found myself envisioning a large multi-panel work. It is now taking shape on four panels and is about seven feet in both dimensions. Here is the drawing as of early July.

A friend commented about this work in progress: “I have loved watching the progression of your art. It’s change became obvious when your grandchild arrived. Now it looks like pure joy!”

Stand by for color.

Help keep the arts alive and vibrant. Support performing arts and cultural groups like NW Dance Project impacted by COVID.

April 2020: I am now working on a painting named “The River is Rising.” As I was starting on the initial drawing, I received a text warning me that the Upper Nehalem River behind my studio was approaching flood stage. This is a fairly common winter event but still always worth grabbing a rain hat and venturing out to the yard to watch the rush of water. The impressive power of the river echoed the subject matter of the painting—a muscular male dancer propelling himself forward. No nonsense nature, no nonsense guy.

Work In Progress 1 June 2020, Painting by David Slader, Artist
Work In Progress 2 June 2020, Painting by David Slader, Artist
Work In Progress 3 June 2020, Painting by David Slader, Artist