Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Sour and Sweet

May 15, 2008

A few weeks ago, I started this still life at a workshop given here by Bruce Williamson, a visiting artist/teacher from Texas. Unlike the other members of our class who used oils, I was working in acrylics.

Bruce would begin each class with a demonstration ( think of it as You Tube LIVE ).

As a visual learner, and aren’t most artists, I gained so much by watching him begin to fill in spaces. And hear his mental process, not because we were psychics but because Bruce, while working, was telling us how he translates what he sees into what he applies.

By the time his demo was over, it was midday and the sun was directly on top of us which gave our still life set-up the very sharp shadows as you can see in the photo.

It also very nicely baked my paints into a abstract form on my palette, much faster than I could paint. That’s the Sour in the title.

But I liked the beginnings. It taught me to work fast and not over think each stroke. I took it home and worked on it in the studio, using the photo as a reference ( what did we do before digital cameras??).

How we look at shadows- they’re not one color. There are at least 6 colors in each object and its’ shadow. The true color, the mid-tones of the true ( or local ) color, the shadow of the object, the shadow of the object reflected on the surface, and finally the best part- the little highlight on the true color that gives the object its’ “ping “.

Who could have known you’d need an abacus to tally the contents of your work while you’re having at it!!

Art is math. Art is science. And some darn fine teaching too.

This is what I finished in the studio.

-I’m very happy with the lemon. I adjusted the pear to be more grounded into its’ axis- it wasn’t leaning authentically. The apple, well, I’m learning to compensate for how acrylics dry darker than you think they will but I’m not into overworking this piece anymore.

What I did get out of it was a sense of having fun while doing it. I haven’t done a still life in a very long time.

How pedestrian, to be living in the Caribbean and presenting you with a trio of fruit you could find in a convenience store on the interstate! But mango season is coming right up and hopefully may compensate your disappointed eyes.