I worked a little more on the frog-on-the-shelf painting. The frog is beginning to look more there. And I tidied up the edge of the shelf where a bit of paper over-hangs and confuses things. I don’t know how long I’ll work on the painting, which is a little oil study on paper. I’m beginning to get interested in it, am enjoying going into its small spaces. And I like watching the light make subtle changes among the actual objects.
The Eiffel Tower, the blue bottle, the shell, the yellow vase — I ignored all of them today. I had only a little time in which to work, having taken up the picture again near the end of the period when the light is right. The vase behind the frog which has the songbird design on it needs to twist so that the object recedes in space. And the sea shell is little more than a gear drive shape at the edge. If I continue working, all these things will need their turn. But today was devoted to Froggie and his edges — to all the passages that press against him.
While working and watching, I began getting caught up in the aspect of figurines on display. In yesterday’s post I remarked that two of the objects have associations with my mother. The whole idea of figurines also takes me back to memories of my paternal grandmother. I hadn’t realized it until today’s session. Grandma must have had frog figurines. She had all sorts of little objects of that sort. They sat in rows in her living room window. They were exactly the kind of thing to fascinate a small child, such as I was way back when.
The shelf of things looks wonderful in the natural light of the room. I took a photo which I’ve doctored enough to render the things visible. The squash from today’s other work sits on the shelf under Frog & Company.
I like to draw a lot. Sometimes these days I’m inclined to draw just to be drawing, choosing images somewhat randomly. I decided to draw a blue jay and made four versions of him together. I think the face was already there. Flowers came later, and some kind of fruit hidden among leaves. There’s still lots of white space left so other items many join the group. We’ll see.
When you paint as much blue as I do
sometimes you need some yellow and orange. The koi pictures that feature so prominently in my life and studio make one need strong warm colors from time to time as a foil to the watery blue reflections of sky that dominate those works. Since I have an ancient squash that’s been sitting on the kitchen shelf for longer than I’m willing to admit, and as I don’t think I’m interested in cooking it anymore, I decided that it’s perfectly suited to the still life table where it sits very nicely.
I painted it with watercolor in the picture on top, and afterwards decided to have a go at it with oil paint too. For the oils I paired it with one of the sea shells.
The light comes in from the window facing south at the backyard and also from an east facing window that bounces light from the neighbor’s light colored house, filtered through the leaves of shrubs I need to prune. I have a bright yellow plastic table cloth that I bought for a dollar at the grocery store, purchased for its brilliant color and assembled together the items and ambient light all make for much bright yellow wending warmth.
So, there they are — today’s immersions in a foil to blue. The balance of the color reproduction is off. The pictures are cooler and more lemon shaded (especially in the cloth) than gets captured here. But I learned long ago that the camera sees things a little differently than our eyes do. And the reproduction catches the general sense, and hence is as we say “close enough for jazz.”