Monday, September 21, 2015

Strange Stuff

I think it's fun to paint things I've never painted before. There's a challenge in matching colors and textures. A friend gave me some homegrown sweet potatoes a few days ago and I ended up boiling most of them but a few ended up in this still life. I'm not sure it was a wonderful idea, because they're not the prettiest things I've ever painted, but they are unusual, very unlike the ones you buy at a supermarket.

I'm sure I learned something from this exercise, even if it was only not to paint ugly vegetables that look like invaders form another planet.

I couldn't stand this painting. The sweet potatoes resembled hungry creatures from another planet and the pear on the side did nothing for the painting. I really learned a lesson about how important it is to set up appealing objects and not just paint something for the sake of painting it. I did have fun painting the textures of the sweet potato, but there is a reason you don't see many paintings of these vegetables, and the reason is that they are ugly.

Last night I pulled out my vase and the copper incense burner and resolved to fix it or pitch it. It was relatively easy to paint the offending pieces out of the picture and just leave the ones I liked. When I was finished I noticed a benefit of the pinkish underpainting under the vase left by the itinerant potatoes: a nice little sparkle appeared where the potatoes had rested, accenting the bright greens and making the piece more lively.

8" x 10" oil on canvas

Green and Copper 8" x 10"

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