|"Silver Pitcher and Fruit" 11x14 on linen panel|
Well it was back to the studio after a long layoff. It was time to do another still life, as painting from life is always preferable when possible. This piece is all about the silver pitcher AND the fruit. Don't know if it follows all the "rules" but I wanted to see three very distinct objects captured with a very dark background. Conventional "art" wisdom says if you have three objects, one should be primary, one secondary and one tertiary. If I squint this painting down I suppose there are slight differences. I see the red apple first, followed by the pear and then the silver pitcher. The silver pitcher was really the most fun. Notice how it disappears into shadow on the left. The left side of the pitcher is not seen but you know the shape anyway even though it’s in shadow. The ol’ brain fills that in for ya! I used my new C.w. Mundy mop brushes I got for Christmas from my wife Linda to eliminate any edge on that side. The same was done to the shadow side of the apple and the pear but not to the same degree. Other important features of this painting are the passages. Passages are those breaks that otherwise would be edges. They're like little highways from the outside into an object. Notice the red apple. There are no passages on the light side. Your eye is drawn there for a couple of reasons. First of all, that unbroken, sharp edge. Your eye will always be drawn to an edge. Artist use that technique to do just that, draw you in. Another reason is color. You just can't resist that red against the dark background. However, the shadow side has several passages taking you from the shadow actually into the apple itself. The pear has less of a distinctive edge on the light side but contains several passages on the shadow side. The silver pot has numerous passages. For example, look at the handle. See any? As for the pitcher itself, by using a mop brush on the shadow side you are gradually led from the vessel into the darkness. That created one huge passage as there are no edges whatsoever.
*Always looking at a painting after I'm done, I see several examples of how I might improve on each of the "tricks" mentioned above. That's what keeps you in the hunt. It's all part of the process!