more flowers will arrive

101_1338 (2)

I have to find more flowers for the bouquet.  I go in search of pictorial flowers.  I look for them in the pictorial gardens.  And a lot of things are beginning to bloom now that spring is here — even pictorial things.

Under the bright pictorial sun, with my face toward the pictorial wind, I walk through the pictorial field to pick flowers that I can bring back to my still life.

reinterpretation — riffing on the pattern

101_1328 (2)

Years ago I bought a beautiful table cloth at the Smithsonian institution.  It has one pattern on one side and another on the inside so it’s a versatile still life cloth.  As with anything else that an artist paints it gets interpreted.  The pattern of the real life cloth doesn’t exactly match the pattern of the cloth in the picture.  It’s like jazz — it gets improvised.

And in that strategy the artist finds a great deal to explore and enjoy.  This particular cloth has a great melody.  I never get tired of looking at it, thinking about it, painting it.  Thank you, textile artist, whoever you are who created my still life drapery.

empty bowl

101_1329 (2)

Even an empty bowl has something in it — it’s got air inside it, hanging there from rim to rim.  And light particles attach themselves to the air and gleam and glimmer inside it.  I’m not sure how one’s suppose to handle the topic visually, but I mix different pearlescent tints of white and hope for the best!

It should not be confused with real air though! — not according to the great painter Edgar Degas for he told us “l’air qu’on voit dans les tableaux des maitres n’est pas l’air respirable.”  [The air one sees in the paintings of the great masters is not the air we breathe.]

I guess that’s true of those figs I stole from ol’ man Snyders (more about that in a future post).  They’re only for looking at — you can’t eat them.

my favorite part of the painting so far

101_1349 (2)

Some years ago I began the painting in which this detail appears.  Now I’m reworking it.  But this detail is my favorite element, and I’m not touching it.  Some of the bare canvas appears between lines.  There’s clear acrylic so it’s not actually bare canvas, but it’s got the color and appearance of the untouched canvas.

bowl of fruits

101_1324 (2)

I’m working on another large still life.  Almost everything is inside the painting already, and yet the painting isn’t its things only; thus there’s still a lot of painting to paint.  I add colors without a plan, thinking “this might look interesting here.”

Almost everything is there and yet it still seems to have more potential than I quite know what to do with.

 

flowers in the darkness

bouquet still life with striped cloth

Black can be a particularly challenging color to use.  It is very bold and rich.  It’s so absolute in value that it’s hard to create an atmospheric effect using it.  The black in this painting is mostly composed of dark browns made from burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  It breathes a little.  But I want the mystery of the very darkest background.  In this painting and in some others, I have explored the sensation of an atmospheric deep shadow.

All the other elements serve some role in striving after that effect.  Its size also participates in the experiment.  It’s a largish picture, measuring 44 x 34 inches.  I want to create a life-sized feeling of the space.

rice bowl

rice bowl.jpg

The rice bowl is textured and nubby.  It’s the most textured element of the picture.  But then it’s surface is composed of so many shapes.

It’s a very satisfying way to paint — or way to see — to be telling oneself: “this goes here and this goes there.”

It’s like housekeeping.