It's actually an organic broad bean pod. From the Organic Shop. Where all the old hippies go. Whilst watching our recent election results coverage on TV, a very distinguished political scientist suggested that the reason the Green Party didn't do as well as recent Polls predicted was because:
"All the old hippies and surfies were probably too busy getting their organic vegtables to go and vote".
This fell off a stuffed toy and I felt like painting it. So I did. I have many pleasant memories of reading A.A Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories many years ago to my daughter Toby who is now 22. The joke in our family is that I am very much like the character of Eeyore, the morose and mildly depressive donkey. One of the stories is about Eeyore losing his tail and Pooh finding it being used by the Wise Owl as a bell rope.
This is how Eeyore is introduced in the book:
"The old grey donkey, Eeyore, stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" - and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about."
Kind of sums up the Human Condition quite neatly really..
There are starlings nesting above the front door to my studio, and the other day I found three dead chicks that had either fallen out or been chucked out by the mother - I'm not sure. They had the powerful attribute of being both grotesque and beautiful at the same time, and I felt compelled to paint them. My initial intention was a composition with all three of the birds in a kind of pinwheel arrangement. However, I found myself struggling with the painting of just one bird and it became extremely unpleasant trying to battle off a plague of flies. Raid's "fast acting" fly spray is not true to label! I only managed to get one bird painted and not particularly satisfactorily at that. I felt like abandoning the painting and the next day when I came into the studio and lifted the protective covering I had placed over them I was hit by the nauseating stench of decay. That decided it and the chicks recieved a decent burial.
Perhaps I should resort to photographs...
Or stick to painting "nice" arrangments of fresh fruit.
This painting started out as something else entirely, however it didn't go well and I scraped it off. Later on I came back into the studio and noticed the sunlight just catching the side of this white plastic mask that I had hanging by the window. I struggled with it as the sun was constantly moving, changing the light and shadow. I find it a fascinating subject and one that I will probably come back to, and hopefully make a better job of.
Along with the other dozens of subjects I keep meaning to come back to...!
Many years ago when I was young and full of self confidance, I painted huge canvas's of these commonplace objects, making them much larger than life. I painted one of a plastic icecream container full of these pegs. It sold and I dont know what happened to it, but this painting reminded me of it. Nowadays I don't put all my pegs in one basket...