lilacs and lemons

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Sometime or other in the early 1990s I made a group of flower paintings.  Each was painted in one session.  Lemons of varying quantity offered a counterpoint to the violet of the lilacs.  This one has a bouquet sitting on the white enamel top of the stove.  To the right the burners are visible with black grill patterns.

The colors of the pictures are so different from the way I use color now, and yet looking back at them, I can see how they created a path to my present.

Some of the organization seems almost Oriental to me in the angular simplicity, the outlined forms, in perspective that tips forward, and in the overt use of negative spaces.  I was very affected by the paintings of Van Gogh at the time so I probably got the Asian influence through him.  Like many the artists of his generation active in France during the 19th century, he loved Japanese prints.

If I sound like I’m describing someone else’s painting, well in a sense I am.  The painting feels that way.  Only slowly do the memories return.

the kitchen chaos

 

kitchen drawingThe view between the arching flower stems is what caught my attention, but afterwards I tried to put as much stuff of the chaos onto the page, knowing that parts of it would be out of proportion.  I decided to tackle something that I figured would be impossible really to depict accurately, especially in the time I was allotting.

The dark light of an overcast spring day made the (ad)venture doable.  So off and on I’ve been gazing at a jumble of things on the kitchen counter. (Remind me I need to clean that counter.)  It would be an interesting motif to do at night too with the overhead yellow of interior light casting down on the objects in that way that Bonnard taught us to love.

I’d love to do the view from the arching flower stems again in the future.  I’ll need more flowers.  These have already surpassed their prime.