White Mums features a blue and white vase with white chrysanthemums (of course). Unlike most of the flowers I use, these were not from our garden but store bought from a charming little flower store inside a local super market, ha. I love the way light plays with the surfaces, especially the depth and […]
Wine is part of my ritual when I paint in the afternoons and evenings. A single glass will last me for hours. It is the mood that the music and wine creates that I love. It makes me feel creative and energized. I imagine how the painting might be enjoyed in someones home enveloped by the same ambiance. Also, I tend to get a little tight about mid-way in the process as I am working through the challenges of the painting. So, too avoid overworking a painting I find music and wine help me keep loose.
Velasquez and Burne Jones was painted for the prestigious art show, Artists for the New Century. The artists for this invitational show were nominated by the editors of American Art Collector, Southwest Art, and Fine Art Conniosseur magazines. The textures and the way the light play on the fresh fruit contrasts with the earthiness of old leather-bound volumes. I simply I loved painting it. Artist for the New Century will run June 6 and runs through July 14, 2012 at The Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, Vermont.
A Meyer Lemon is nothing like your ordinary store-bought lemon. Its skin smoother with a color that leans toward gold. Their juice is sweet with a hint of orange through the subtle tartness. The truth is I am infatuated by their look, especially when washed by the southern light from our kitchen window. Even though our tree is loaded with these wonderful fruits in the winter, they remind me of warm summer days.
Sometimes I feel compelled to paint a subject for no reason other than to satisfy an obsession. This is one of those times. The books belonged to my grandfather. Given to him in 1910 and subsequently came into my possession. As realist still life painter I feel a connection to Chardin, one of the greatest still life painters ever. Vermeer is an artist whose little paintings tower over nearly every artist before and after him. I am always inspired by the intimacy of his work. And of course there is Degas, Millet and so many wonderful artist who have added so much beauty to my life and who have led me to see the world anew time and time again.
There was something a little melancholy about Arles. Beauty is found there. At the heart of the city, I was surprised and impressed by the well preserved Roman amphitheater and the arena – which is undergoing a very dramatic restoration.
Of course Arles’ most famous – perhaps infamous – resident was Vincent Van Gogh. This is where some of his finest paintings were created – “Starry Night”, “The Cafe with the Yellow Awning,” “The Postman”. It is also where Gaugin lived with Vincent for a short time until Vincent’s troubling behavior became too much to tolerate. After Vincent’s notorious breakdown when he sliced a piece of his ear off and presented it to a prostitute, the people of Arles had him arrested and petitioned him to be expelled from the city. That led to his move to the asylum in St. Remy.
The copper bowl used in Sunshine Bowl is usually on our mantle. We filled it full of ripe Meyer lemons from a backyard tree. I am always amazed at the bounty of fresh citrus we get in the winter. Lemons often make an appearance in my paintings. They symbolize life. Storing energy from the summer sun and the nutrition from the earth, they are the perfect, healthful fruit.
St. Remy in Provence offers so many sensual treats. Golden sunrise – didn’t see many of those as we also love to sleep in. The herbs and flowers in the garden giving up subtle hints of their afternoon perfume But the best is the fragrance of coffee and fresh baked French breads. Flaky or crisp crusted, French breads are the best in the world. I loved the contrast of the woven basket, white cotton lining and the golden breads. On a weathered teak wood table, under a canopy of trees caressed with soft Provencal morning sunlight – what a great way to wake up my sleepy eyes.