Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Finally Something To Say

You have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.
                                                                           ~ Miles Davis

Tea - oil on canvas, 8" x 8"

I can't tell you how many times in the last few months I've sat down at the computer to write a blog post and ended up just staring at the screen. I had nothing. If you are here now reading this, thanks for sticking with me.

Some of you may know that I collect Hall china, particularly pieces from the 50's and earlier, and use them in many of my still life paintings. I just love their styling. Two weeks ago I went to visit a friend at his antique store in town and he had a new Hall piece to show me - something I hadn't seen before: a Hall china coffee pot. I bought it on the spot, knowing that the color and shape would inspire many paintings. I've already done a few 5 x 7's of the coffee pot, and then a few days ago I got the urge to try a more elaborate and slightly larger painting.

Once again, I'm using a very limited palette - alizarin crimson, azo yellow, ultramarine blue and titanium white. All my other colors are mixed from those. I really like the harmony that a limited palette brings to a painting. Plus it's easier on the budget.

I got to this point in the painting (above) last week and kind of lost interest. I was planning on just chalking it up to practice and starting over, but I let it sit for a few days and when I went into my studio this morning, I found that I had the desire to finish it.

Nearly there!

Although the china piece is a coffee pot, I was envisioning tea, especially with those two ceramic mugs, hence the title "Tea".


Overall, I'm quite pleased with the piece. It's not the most dynamic of compositions, and I overworked a few things, but I'm glad I completed it. My ellipses are improving, and I'm really tickled about the rendering of the orchid bloom. The last time I tried to paint a flower it was completely unrecognizable as anything but a paint blob, so I'm thrilled to see improvement there. Now if I had just bumped it up to overlap the pot...

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