The leaves on the tree outdoors

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or the panes of glass considered individually, seen in late afternoon. This painting with a window has so many possible ways of being taken apart, with each section of the image being like a portal that one can enter.

When did my fascination with still life begin? Maybe it was in childhood when I would stare at the row of figurines that my grandmother collected that lined her front windows, row upon row of strange curiosities in her narrow little house in southeast Washington.

The owl is a big figurine and the bird on the bud vase is another feathered companion. I’m not sure why they’re in the painting. Central casting sent them here. What am I supposed to do with them?

An earlier version of the owl looks like this:

owl in watercolor

I’m going to figure out how to get the pattern across the vase, particularly along the edge. I’m going to keep drawing it until I can find a version that’s flat and right in tone and color.

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4 thoughts on “narrating

  1. I really like both paintings and the the development from on to another. Your way of painting adds some mystery to the set up. The correspondence between bird and owl are much stronger in your painting compared to photo. Your paining style is awesome – it is bold (in beautiful way) and sensitive. Great!

  2. thank you, Carsten. I used the photo so I could highlight the oblique design that is flattened out in perspective. I’m drawing the objects from life in this instance so what I see looks very different from what’s in the photo. After I took the photo, though, I discovered that I love the crazy relationship in it between the vase and the owl which I think is a wide angle effect.

    I didn’t get the pattern right yet, but I’m redrawing the vase from time to time and perhaps I’ll get it more closely some future time. But I love drawing patterns on cloth (or on other surfaces) when they recede in depth or when they follow folds in drapery and so on.

  3. thank you, fruitfuldark, but I cannot take too much credit for gutsiness. I worked on the watercolor off and on during the afternoon — sometimes “off” because we had a lot of partly cloudy weather yesterday so sometimes I was sitting practically in the dark in my north facing studio room. Nonetheless I don’t complain because yesterday was one of the most beautiful days in my region (I live near Washington DC) that I’ve seen in quite some time.

    We had sort of the perfect day yesterday, spectacularly beautiful outdoors with shifting light, low humidity and splendid breezes all day long.

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