Sunday, December 16, 2007

Chalice & Tangerine - A Still Life

But this painting on Ebay! Bids Start at $50

This little oil study is inspired by the book I'm reading at the moment - 'Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follet. It's set in Medieval England, and is so visual in it's portrayal of life then, that it is influencing my ideas as I'm painting. It's a hefty book - all the better to draw you in on chilly days, and absorb you into another world!

I went to the local thrift store searching for props, and found this little silver 'Chalice' which I imagine was gracing somebody's mantlepiece for years. It was all dusty and scuffed, and I knew it would be perfect. I love the colour of the tangerines and red cloth reflected in the chalice - I'm a big fan of warm colours. I'm working on the next one already, I think they'll they'll make a beautiful series.

I suppose I'm aiming for something quite Baroque in tone, but modern in style. I'm trying to keep my brushwork looser, which is hard for me at this scale. I keep having the urge to overwork these pieces, to 'finish' them off. I don't want them to become laboured, and I think with practice I'll know better when they're done. My friend Melissa Gregory quoted recently that a good painting is one that's stopped in an interesting place. I like that, and it gives me a chance to tell a groanworthy art joke "....if it ain't Baroque, don't try and fix it!"

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