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.
I thought about the column of air in front of the giardiniera jar and the blue bottle. If you found that position in the air that marks the forwardmost plane of what you’re seeing where would it be located? That’s one edge — there are three others. Inside that invisible box of air sits the giardiniera jar and the eight-sided blue bottle, sitting on the old plastic table cloth with yellow flowers and pale green leaves on a field of pale blue, and behind them the green plaid formica top of the old table that inhabited my grandmother’s old house. That pretty much cordons off the world of this little painting.
These flowers, unlike the ones I mentioned in my previous post, are not shy. Moreover they comprise another “junk painting” that I’m doing. And junk paintings are definitely not shy. This picture appears over top a canvas that I painted and rapidly learned to hate. The subject of the underpainting was totally different. But the materials were swell — oil primed linen on sturdy stretchers. So I turned the thing sideways and discovered that it became the perfect format for the development of a junk painting based upon a beloved junk drawing: a marriage made in heaven, surely.
I love my junk drawing. So far the junk painting looks different from its source, stiffer though bolder; and perhaps it will strike out its own path, yet it’s near enough to the junk drawing to have me feeling giddy and light-hearted about wielding the paint brush. You really have to set your sights on delight sometimes. Seriousness is important, but we cannot live in that place all the time.
Meanwhile the source for both the junk painting-in-progress and the junk drawing holds some sway over the process.
They each carry memories of this drawing. And this drawing in turn was based upon another painting of the same subject. I am incorrigibly addicted to redoing the same motifs …