Thursday, June 11, 2009

Also Finished: 'Cherry Cola'

Hello there, from a Sydney that is still in a cold "snap" !  Compared to other places, it is not so bad, but it is just not what we are accustomed to here.  Hope it becomes a bit milder and gentler soon...

Monday, when I glazed the lion painting, I looked around to see what else was sitting ready to glaze too.  I am making a concerted effort to finish my works in progress in the studio.  It is really easy to get lazy and just start things and not finish some of them.  So I have been fixing this and have been completing works.  I have a book by Stephen Quiller (whose books feature awesome watermedia painting techniques--highly recommend his books) and in it he says it is hard to know when a painting is done.  And that one way to learn this is to actually finish your paintings !  That really hit home to me as I realised I had a lot of things sitting around that were 50-75% done and I was moving on to the next thing and not finishing them up.  

And there was something waiting, the painting  shown to the right.   This is something I painted not long ago, but had not "finished" per se. This actually started out just using up extra red acrylic paint I had on a palette after working on another painting (probably one of the Waratahs ones, see May Posts for a post on those).  And some of it was Rose Madder, which is a gorgeous and a not-so-cheap pigment, too nice to let go to I decided I needed to do something with it.  And so I just started to muck around and created the background you see in the painting to the right.  I added some raw umber brown to it too and put that in the upper left corner and also left side.  It was nice to work without a destination, which is new rather uncharted territory for me and probably very good practice too.  The marks on the canvas  looked nice and rich and I just let the colors carry me in whatever direction they wanted, and they were so nice, like a topping on a dessert or really ripe red fruit.  Delicious !

Then, one day soon thereafter, when cherries were in season, I had a lot of them around.  And had put them in bowls on the table.  And I saw them sitting there and thought I should paint them.  And there was my canvas, already painted with deep and bright reds.  On the left you see my cherry still life models, lolling around on newspaper I keep on the painting table surface  (yes, that is a mayo jar in the background--favorite painting water jars).  I did wonder if the number of cherries should be deliberately selected (as in to mean something), but in the end I just painted what I thought looked good.  Which turned out to be seven.  Yes, there are more than seven still life models, but maybe some of them were eaten before they could be painted ?

I decided to make them free fall on the background I had on the canvas and that is how they have stayed.  The highlights in the cherries are a pale light blue.  I haven't had cherry cola in years, but heard the Lou Reed song 'Lola' on the radio not long after painting this and it made me think of it.  And so the painting above is named Cherry Cola !

More next post, enjoy your day...wherever you are :)

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