Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Red, White and Blue" (oil on canvas; 12" x 16")

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Still life setup

I was already very tired when I went to John Murray's still life class on Thursday night.  I wasn't in the mood or shape to tackle a painting.  Not that the above setup was any more complicated than usual.  John generally starts a term with "easy" arrangements, then proceeds to increasingly challenging ones.  But when one is tired, with a decreased level of concentration, anything can be experienced as an insurmountable obstacle. 

Such was the case with the white porcelain tureen.  I didn't even try to emulate its vertical ridges; I couldn't get its relatively simple form right.  The shadows on the tureen were, of course, too purple, as you may remember that I have a violet tendency.  What about the blue drapery?  Yikes!  My painting was "relentlessly" blue, as my teacher said.  He told me to inject some warmth to the blues.  I came home exhausted, feeling quite middle-aged!

On Friday morning, still tired after a restless night, I attacked the painting to see it through.  I fixed the drawing of the tureen, made its shadows and reflected light in them more interesting, and did my utmost best to make the blues of the fabric warmer.  The red peppers and plum?  After all the trouble I've had with the rest of the painting, they were easy!

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