Apologies for the lengthy hiatus in my postings here. This one took a bit longer than anticipated. I've been feeling the need to work on some slightly more ambitous paintings again, but naturally, they take more time.
As I've mentioned previously, we've had a bumper crop of plums on our tree this season. It stands alongside the path to my studio and I have to bow my head to pass underneath it every day. It is only a small tree, but it is now bent to the ground, heavy with fruit. I collect the ones fallen to the ground and take them with me to the studio. The small bowl that I've put them in, I got from the local Trade-aid shop. I think it was made in Africa. I love it and I have painted it several times. At first I tryed arranging the plums in a nice symetrical pile within the bowl, but they kept falling from the top to give a lop-sided appearance. After unsuccesfully struggling with this phenomonen for a while, I decided - Oh well, that's the way they want to be, I'll just build my composition around that. So I place the bowl off-centre in the composition with a bit of space on the left hand side and placed a plum on the shelf which seemed to anchor the whole thing down. At this stage I realised that it gave the effect of the plums tumbling out of the bowl. An over abundance of fruit, just like on the tree. So the theme of the painting turned out to be a kind of cornucopia, or "horn of plenty". It's that process of discovery that keeps me fascinated by the act of painting.
I've always been fascinated by old and rusty things. I'm not even sure what this is... some kind of spanner I suppose. It has been sitting in my studio for a while now waiting to be painted. Sometimes things will sit there for months or even years before I feel the time is right to paint them. Even after they have been painted, I tend to leave them around for quite some time. The cherries I painted in December are still on the windowsill shrivelling in the sun.
Even before I started painting this one I realised that the board was really the wrong dimensions for what I wanted, however I went ahead and painted with the thought of cropping it later. The photo below is the original uncropped version. It has far too much redundant space around it I feel. Sometimes less is more.
I got the idea for this one from the packet the charcoal came in. The charcoal was depicted in a simple "what you see is what you get" fashion that appealed to me. It also reminds me of I-Ching hexagrams, or perhaps a bar-code.
Self Portrait Reflected in Narrow Mirror Oil on gessoed board
January 8, 07
I'm always fascinated by mirrors. This one was salvaged out of some old fax or something I think. It's odd the way we require so little information to see a face. It's the way we're hard wired I guess. I had to close one eye to paint this.