Monday, October 8, 2012

"Antique Teacup and Apples" (oil on linen; 12" x 12")

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Still life setup

Some days I can paint reasonably well; some other days, I can't paint at all.  Although it was only the third week of the term (I missed the first class), John Murray, who must have thought mighty high of our ability, arranged the above complicated setup last Thursday night!  It was awkward to paint just the elegant brass compote laden with red apples, or the dainty antique teacup and saucer, or the three fruits on the right.  Willy nilly, I ended up painting the entire setup despite my different intentions for this term.  Oy!

First of all, I couldn't mix the shadow colors of the apples, or any other colors for that matter.  I couldn't draw the teacup and saucer either.  The biggest problem was the composition.  The painting was so top-heavy that it was about to topple, figuratively speaking.  Eventually, John came to the rescue.  He worked on my painting for half an hour (!).  No, he didn't finish the painting for me; he showed me the way. 

Do you see how dark the teacup and light cloth are in the shadowed side?  How about the greens and purples in the apples!  When John first started putting down greens, blues, and what not into the apples, they looked like the poisoned apples the evil queen offered to Snow White.  "Apples for Snow White" was the first title I thought of for the painting!

On the following day I knocked down the shocking colors, while still maintaining the dark value in the shadows.  I worked on the painting to complete it, perhaps for three hours altogether, until the paints became too sticky.  What you don't know is that during the painting "session" I also went to my ice-skating lesson/practice and baked two batches of brownies for my daughter's marching band as well! 

A teacher once advised that one should not try to paint unless you have a block of painting time.  If I wait for such a block, I will probably paint two or three times a week instead of everyday.  I say PAINT WHENEVER YOU CAN!     

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