First, I made the underpainting with Cad Orange and Cad Red and made a mental note that this would be a blue green painting lots of tropcial colors.
The idea was to make a painting design built upon the pattern on the skin of the pineapple. Looking closely, there is almost a spiral upward of rows of small pentagons. Within them are protrusions, and spikes and dents and all sorts of repetitive tracks.
You can see immediately why it was so labor intensive.
Someone out there has a home in Hawaii or has a tropical decor and would like this painting in an honored place. Please contact me via email if you would like to consider acquiring this piece.
I have been seeking thicker paint and a more buttery look to my pieces. So, I tried two things: coating the gessoed canvas with diluted acrylic mat medium to retard or stop the absorbance of the gesso and canvas. Secondly, using a big one inch flat brush with tons of paint . . .shovel loading the brush sometimes. As I attacked this painting, it was clear I could not opt for detail, so by creating internal shapes in the leaves, weaving deep darks through the composition and working with color contrasts, I put this one together. I used a photo, taken over two years ago, to get a general idea of the proportions and shapes of the leaves and persimmons. The photo was useless beyond that.
A little scraping had to be done here and there in order to keep clean color . . .and to make the darks come to life with warms and cools. The end result was a buttery painting with some eye grabbing color contrasts. In a frame it sings! Sealing the canvas seemed to be a big help. Testing the limits of the big brush (and my courage) made for some romping good fun!
Okay. Here it is. I am sticking my neck out with this one. I have been painting realistic, traditional stuff till now. After 13 or 14 sketches on Saturday last, I came up with this composition. To place the attention on the shadows instead of the pinapple, I used intense colors and a little bit of texture. To repeat those colors, I put them into the light on the table top, slighty reducing intensity and creating shifts of cool / warm. Overall, the object and the shadows (which really did appear in double because of my studio lighting) form a single shape that connects three edges of the canvas. Also, there is a repetition of the triangle shapes in the negative spaces, which helps the unity.
I had fun with this piece. I must admit, though, while I don’t mind stretching reality or abstraction, sometimes I am not anxious to put them out in public right away. So, I am going for it . . . .(yes, I signed it!) I’ll be very interested in your comments.
Sometimes, I chuckle to myself when I am painting. Sudden realizations show up at the silliest times. While doing this painting, I found myself saying “Oh, my Gosh! What color is the meat of an apple?! I never thought about it before this moment!” It ‘s funny that I still, after years of painting, have to have a name in my mind for a color. That is the left side of my brain working overtime. Other times, I will look at something and see that there are several colors there and know precisely how to mix them . . . .without naming anything.
Names of things get in our way as painters. The moment we name something, then it MUST be that THING . . . .instead of a shape of this color in that value. When we stop naming ‘things’ is when the creative muscles start to act . . .and that is when our paintings become something unusual. Letting go of names gives the freedom to compose without being “wrong.”
Am working on the pinapple in a larger format. (See Saturday’s post). I had to set it aside to do today’s painting. The naming business showed up to try to trip me up in that painting. You’ll see in a day or two what came out of that.
P.S. Carol Marine has been painting a long series of apples. Her work is really alive. I left her a note that you can almost smell the apples, yet one can sense her expert hand in each painting. In my opinion, the artist’s hand (as I call it) is what sets her work apart from ‘reality’ and makes the ordinary and mundane very exciting. Check her out!