Small Jar of Marbles
Oil on linen on foamboard
This was one of those terribly frustrating painitngs. The subject of marbles packed tightly in a jar appealed. They are safely contained and can't go getting lost or into trouble. I liked the idea of the composition, the square shaped jar within a square format, placed at the bottom and with a low viewpoint. While I was sketching it in, the compositions of the minimal abstract paintings of Joseph Albers came to mind with his series "Homage to The Square"
The sense of frustration came from the tecnical problems I encountered while trying to depict the glass marbles within the glass jar. The light faded and I had to give up on the day I started and when I came back the next day the paint had dryed and it always changes the charactor of a painting when you overpaint. You lose the initial freshness. But sometimes you gain gain something else. The small scale didn't help matters and I have been wondering if I'm not been stupid in trying to keep to a modest scale in these paintings. It would be so much easier at a bigger scale. But scale is important too, and the meaning and charactor changes when you paint things larger than life. I used to paint still life objects at this larger than life scale but I stopped some years ago, and with this "Postcard painting" project my paintings have gotten smaller and smaller. Perhaps it's time for another change. I'm starting to feel too trapped and confined. Like this subject. My painting has always been essentially autobiographical.