I found a new Limoges vase online, and I’ve decided to use it instead of the pale white one with roses. I just like this jaunty vase with handles better. So I made a study of it using Neopastels and I’ll be using it to replace the main vase of the picture.
I have also decided to investigate using a second smaller vase to be sitting on the table a little closer in the foreground. More on that development later. I have an actual glass vase that I’ll use with real flowers.
Before I canned the white vase I made a little painted study of it, below right.
These while listening to Yuja Wang playing Bartok’s 2nd piano concerto with the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, Rome.
So far my painting follows the structure set forth in Bonnard’s picture which I emulate. And notwithstanding my window shopping, I seem to be using his window — at least for the present. The horizontal and vertical elements of Bonnard’s window are an essential component of his painting’s structure. Of course, the real structure of mine is as yet unresolved. I’m looking for it, and I’m hardly even started.
I made the study above a year or two ago with the aim of using it in a variation on the motif of flowers on a table sitting in front of a window. I recall that the light was changing rapidly and I just decided impulsively to see if I could make a fast drawing with oil pastels. Some element of the colors still beckons and those sinewy lines of the tree that’s up against the house. The tension between the squares of the window panes and the curvy trees and the colors, they all hint at something. I don’t know what.
For much art, getting the perspective right is significant for the sake of realism. In Bonnard’s art the flying off askew of perpendicular and horizontal lines obeys a visual physics all its own. You don’t get there by constructing perspective lines or by assiduously drawing the architecture as it is. You have to find the lines through sensibility the way that ants follow pheromone trails.
I was having trouble drawing a door many years ago. Just couldn’t figure it out. So I poured through my Bonnard books until I found a door of his. Simply looking at his image showed me the solutions I needed. They weren’t elements of perspective. They were ideas about what to describe and what to forget about. My door is as wobbly as his, but it serves its pictorial purpose — it’s a passage way into the pictorial outdoors — or from realm to realm.
He was talking about the landscape but his observations can apply equally to an interior. Anyway, there’s a landscape in this interior — the one that’s visible, that will be visible, through the window. Color is what this picture’s about.
Il a dit: Par temps beau mais froid, il y a du violet dans les gris et du vermillon dans les ombres orangées.
He said: Beautiful weather though cold, there’s violet in the grays and vermilion in the orange tinted shadows.
The painting comes along slowly. I make studies of particular objects to figure out what they’re going to look like. Not all the things have locations yet. I’m setting the table.
Another note to self. I want to remember to put the frog teapot on the imaginary table in Bonnard’s dining room at the Villa Castellamare in Arcachon. The whole right hand side of the table at present is empty. I was wondering what to put there. Remembered the frog teapot.
I’m also going to add some oranges — in the foreground — on the left.