Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Pink Parrot Tulips" (oil on canvas, 20" x 16")

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Still life setup

I don't know what I was thinking when I started this ambitious still life project in the middle of a busy week.  It took four days to finish, and every time when I sat down to paint, there was a different setup in front of me.  By Friday, the tulips were dead; the yellow-orange spray of flowers prone on the fabric was long gone.  it's good that I had taken the photo as a backup.  A friend of mine told me the other day that she was "done" with photos, and I am sure they are an anathema to the purists.  But I don't know how I would have completed the painting without the photographic aid.  You tell me.

There were two challenges that I had to face in painting "Stilll Life with Pink Parrot Tulips."  I chose the brocade-looking fabric, thinking that it complemented the curvy, sensuous feel of the setup.  Deciding how developed it should be a puzzle though.  In the end I left it at a vague and suggestive stage so that it didn't compete with the main show. 

The gerbera daisy vase was another big headache; the fancy bas-relief design was really tricky to render.  When I started painting still lifes a month ago, I mentioned something about a simple glass vase wtih a few sprigs of flowers being the extent of my ambition.  I should have stuck to my words.  On the other hand, how would I grow as an artist if I don't continually challenge myself?

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