Monday, November 23, 2015

Crystal Light with Fruit, 8"x 8", oil

(This piece is in a private collection in Grass Valley, California.)

“Imagine a Carthage sown with salt, and all the sowers gone, and the seeds
lain however long in the earth, till there rose finally in vegetable profusion
leaves and trees of rime and brine. What flowering would there be in such
a garden? Light would force each salt calyx to open in prisms, and to fruit
heavily with bright globes of water–-peaches and grapes are little more than
that, and where the world was salt there would be greater need of slaking. 
Marilynne Robinson, "Housekeeping"

 Before painting "Crystal Light with Fruit" I wanted to use a light that was coming from the back.of my still life .That kind of lighting made a dramatic change in the way the objects were hit by the light or reflected it. I thought that the original pattern it created on the horizontal  plane was interesting and challenging and worth the effort to paint.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Apple in Kaleidoscope Light, 5"x 7", oil

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t 
say any other way – things I had no words for.” 
Georgia O’Keeffe

When I set up this still life I wanted to create a simple composition--an apple on a cobalt plate with a teaspoon next to it. The light was extremely bright that day, resulting in a background that became a kaleidoscope of lights reflecting the varied colors of the objects. I was tempted to make an abstract painting, but resisted the temptation and put as much effort into creating the brightest and most colorful image I could paint.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

In the Afternoon Light, 6" x 8", oil

(This piece is in a private collection in Burien, Washington)

“How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness

and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:

as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lostI 
and become precious”

With "In the Afternoon Light" I wanted to capture the glorious light that comes through the North window and onto my still life's objects. The glass takes on a life of its own and looks like it is filled with pieces of precious stones. (I have always been fascinated by those drops of light that glow like diamonds.) The colors of the fruit receive a warm glow when the light spreads to them, enriching everything it touches and giving the painting an inner life.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Morning Light, 6"x 6", oil

(This piece is in a private collection in Pearland, Texas)

"Colors change; in the morning light, red shines out bright and clear and the blues merge into their surroundings, melting into the greens; but by evening the reds loose their piquancy, embracing a quieter tone and shifting toward the blues in the rainbow.  Yellow flowers remain bright, and white ones become luminous, shining like ghostly figures against a darkening green background."
― Rosemary Verey, The Scented Garden, 1981

This painting was done mostly during the early hours of the morning. I liked the reflections of the light through the glass onto the table. The light doesn't reach far enough to bathe the apple as well and because of that it looks dark but rich in color. The painting was done in the alla prima technique.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tangerine  Sunset, 6"x 8", oil

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

"Tangerine Sunset" is a still life that has a life of its own. I wanted to create a bright composition that started with the radiant color of the fruit and have it spread over the object accompanying it and continuing on into the background. The orange glow of the satin cloth took on the appearance of a landscape seen in a glorious sunset. The cup is decorated with a design inspired by the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. It was a gift from my daughter when she visited Spain.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ripe Pears on a Plate, 6"x 8", oil

"A man watches his pear-tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap!" 
  Abraham Lincoln

"Ripe Pears on a Plate" was inspired by Fiorelli pears that I admired at the market and bought with the idea that they would make for a wonderful painting. They provide bright and colorful ornaments on the plate, but, having always loved fruit above any other food, I had to resist a strong temptation  to eat my still life before it even found it way onto the canvas...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pink Rose with Shell, 6" x 6", oil

  Henri Matisse

When I started to paint "Pink Rose with Shell" I was interested in capturing the delicate colors of the rose and shell. But by using a folded, golden silk cloth as a background my interest shifted. I noticed that it had added an interesting landscape-like formation of hills and sunset light. The sheen of the cloth gave depth and luminosity to my still life. I am very happy with the outcome.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Yellow Flowers with Egg and Lime , 6" x 6", oil


She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.

She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.” 

― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

"Yellow Flowers with Egg and Lime" was my reaction to the first signs of springtime. When I saw the verdant tendrils of spring peaking at me through my window, I knew it was time to change my pallet. Giving it an "extreme make-over", I swapped out the dark hues for my brightest colors. My composition kind of emerged by itself. When I was done, I put my brushes down immediately as to not lose the freshness of the image I had just created. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pears with White Flowers, 6"x 6", oil

"May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring

This painting was inspired by the rich color of the bosc pears and the cashmere shawl upon which I laid them. The warm colors of the shawl brought out the pears' tones and also were reflected in the metal bowl. 

 I realized though that the painting needed some light-colored object. Looking out the window I noticed these miniature white daffodils in my garden, and knew instantly that they would work just perfect. The pears look like they come out of the darkness and the flowers are little lights dancing in attendance.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mandarin with Pewter Cup, 6"x 6", oil

"Mandarin with Pewter Cup" was painted after my first attempt didn't satisfy me completely (with respect to the composition). This second time I painted the same arrangement in what I saw as a more free and modern way of expressing the subject. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Silver Goblet with Apples, 8"x 6", oil

In this painting I wanted to show the contrast between the smooth, shiny bowl of the goblet and its more patterned stem. The apples and the leaves introduce even more variety to the textures rendered. The reflections seem to enhance the whole picture even more.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Red Rose with White Cup,  6"x 6", oil

"Red Rose with White Cup" has been done as a follow-up after "Red Rose with Pewter Cup". I loved the composition and I wanted to try a variation. I am pleased with the more modern outcome of the background. The rose was very fresh when it was given to me so it was still looking great. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Red Rose with Pewter Cup, 6"x 6", oil

The beautiful red rose that I received from my husband on Valentine's Day inspired me to do this piece. I wanted the rose to stand out and to render some of the softness and rich color of red velvet. The rest of the composition I made it so that it appeared to retreat, with the colors being more muted yet reflecting the rich red of the rose.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Blue Cup with Clementines, Oil, 6" x 8"

"Blue Cup with Clementines" was intended to be a simple study. In the beginning I just wanted to focus on the clementines, but I ended putting as much work into the cup and the blueberries. After I decided how the light was going to strike every object, the execution was straightforward. I am happy with the result, but wish I could have kept closer to my original intent.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Copper and Apples, Oil, 6" x 6"

This piece was composed having in mind the tall copper cup and the two apples that almost looked like they were competing with one another. The copper sits like a judge between them, but already is taking a side. 

In the end the composition worked out because of the strong, warm light that fell upon all three objects helped to unify them. The glow of the subjects gave the picture a life of its own.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Red Grapes with Holly, Oil, 6" x 9"

This painting started with a handful of grapes and  my cream-colored vase. But I needed something green to complement the red of the grapes. The evergreen holly next to my front porch was a perfect match. The painting went rather smoothly after found the elements. It was done using the alla prima technique. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brass and Lemon, Oil, 6" x 6"

I am very excited about having my piece " Brass and Lemon" in my first-ever blog post. I had this brass cup as part of a set of three ( platter, cup and candle holder) as a heirloom from my family. It is the first time I am using it in a painting and I am very happy how it came out. I think that painting shiny objects can be challenging and at the same time interesting and exciting. Since I like the challenge I might try to use the entire set in one painting...