the painting and its antecedents

studio on june 20 painting with background

There’s always some archaeology going on in the studio.  Recently when I removed the yellow cloths to reveal the blue cloth with flowers (because the blue cloth had been behind the yellow one) it reexposed it to the painting that it inspired.

So it happens that for the time being, the little painting “Love, Desire, Striving” hangs directly above the background that it portrays.  And I only just noticed yesterday.

Ah, ever the alert artist ….


you cannot paint all the time

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When I’m not painting, I’m doing this.  Don’t worry it’s not as bad as it looks.  Several Austen novels are piled into one book.  I’m only reading Pride and Prejudice for now.  Thus I’ve made rather better progress than it would seem from the photo.

Austen fits nicely into my world.  I think she’d approve of the way the studio looks at present.


real v painted

When you have lots of painted flowers stacked about and real ones in vases sitting nearby as well, sometimes the real and the artificial get all jumbled together.  In the view above the real flowers blend right into the receding painted ones.

getting good help these days

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My studio assistant doesn’t look too happy.  He thought the job would pay more in dog biscuits than has proved to be the case.

In the background stands the work in progress.  I’ve taped a few more drawings to the canvas to gain a better sense of where some of the still life objects might go.

bringing lemons

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If life brings you lemons, of course you paint them.  And if life would bring you lemons, you wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store to buy them.  Maybe it’d mean you have a lemon tree.  Or perhaps you have people who just bring you lemons — that’s what I need — I need staff.

On my still life table, the lemons repose in a blue compotier.  So it’s kind of like heaven here.

adjacent things

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I love the intersections in my studio.  The corner of a still life painting abuts the flower power fabric background of the still life table, and both adjoin the little drawing of a lotus that hangs on the side of the book cabinet just because.

There are all these natural abstractions lying about.  Like the parts of the unfinished paintings that wait in the queue.

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apprendre le français

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The other book on the still life table is the French dictionary.  Because Monsieur Bonnard (mon professeur de peinture) said if I want to talk to him, I had better learn to speak his language.

He’s very strict.  (You’d never guess it from the paintings.)

dogs’ tails are brushes too

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I run out of places to stack wet panels.  I need to make studies for the big painting, but then I find myself running out of places to set them while they dry.  It’s a small room and I have dogs.  Dogs tails are also brushes so wet paintings have to be put out of the tail’s reach.

A study like this one of the flowers in the vase will be something I go back to whenever I want to reconnect with the object.  It’s not finished in any sense.  It will never be finished.  It’s just something to put paint on when I want to think about that vase some more.

Between times I have to keep it from the dog’s tail unless I want the household furnishings painted as well.


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The flower at the corner of the painted study seems to long for its near twin up there on the box.  And thus there are always various curiosities in the studio.

And in one’s mind coincidences abound.  Ideas echo each other.