This painting started in the produce aisle where red-purple plums were looking rather regal. In my studio, they sat in a spatterware pie plate. Not exactly regal, but spatter grey against glossy purple made a nice contrast. So that was the start of what was meant to be a horizontal painting starring purple plums.
And then this happened.
A simple portrait of produce became a regal throne of intricate tapestry. Well, maybe just plums on a tea towel, but certainly elevated by the rich pattern. Really, the complimentary colors of green-blue and red-purple were just perfect. So... what to do about that fabric pattern?!
A detailed drawing is almost always my starting point. For this painting I focused on the plums and the ellipse of the pie tin. Figuring I'd do a looser impression of the fabric pattern, and kind of wing it to avoid being too mechanical.
Realism is challenging, and it can involve training your brain to ignore some degree of detail to maintain the poetry. So I gave myself permission to be not entirely literal with the fabric while still creating a level of realism that felt right, to me. That meant drawing the fabric to provide key shapes and elements of the pattern as a road map for painting the pattern.
More detail than just winging it and less than photo accuracy. In the end it did not feel like a compromise, but a successful rendering of my vision. And that's a great feeling.
Click here to return to available paintings.
10" x 16" oil on linen
on exhibit at Rockport Art Association & Museum's National Exhibition, Rockport, MA Dec. 5 - 31