I'm in Trinidad for a few weeks (my husband is working here)and when I visit his laundry room becomes my make shift studio. Wet towels and swimsuits hang overhead and I swat away the mosquitoes as they make a meal out of me. Undeterred, today I returned to the chilli theme; in the caribbean they 'dub up' the food to make it a little more interesting, the key ingredient being chillis in any shape or form. Let the 'liming' commence and Happy New Year to everyone!
This pewter jug was a lucky find during a visit to our local antique market. I felt it was the sort of vessel one might see in an old dutch painting. It posed quite a challenge when it came to arranging a composition. It works well if the other pieces in the arrangement are all fairly neutral in colour. As I wanted to surround it with some colourful fruits I needed to place the pomegranate on the the right of the composition to keep the eye moving along. This adheres to the observation that a still-life at eye level is read from left to right.
I take a portrait class every Monday and during the lunch break I hurry down the road with a friend to lunch on a bowl of soup at the local cafe. We pass a beautiful medieval hall known locally as 'Dragon Hall' enroute. It is a historical building open to the public and has a small gift shop. Norwich has many strong dutch influences having been one of the most prosperous cities in England during medieval times due to the wool trade and our proximity to Holland. This replica Roemer glass was in the window; which for a still-life painter was far too much of a temptation. Infact, we both sucumbed, and once home I got my paints out. Yesterday, she bought and collected the painting. It turned out a very worthwhile bowl of soup for me:)
This is the second oil sketch I have done of Radka over the past couple of sessions at the scout hut. It was completed in about two hours. I went for a profile this time which gave me the opportunity to include her dreads which are so much part of her.
It is a new experience for me painting figures especially a face at this scale. I think it is useful to produce a small study to gauge whether the composition works and will translate to a larger painting. However, it is wise to keep working over the whole and not hone down to the face; we know this stuff and yet human nature takes over - the result - frustration!
This is not avertly christmassy but is heading that way.... I thought I would ease myself into the season gently. Pomegranates are such fabulous fruit. I was in Spain earlier in the year where the pomegranate trees were laden with the flower blossoms turning into little fruit. This time of year they are everywhere, they even make it onto my muesli at breakfast:)
I have been off galavanting, having fun and celebrating my birthday, which accounts for my inactivity on this blog. I spent a few days in Paris, and although poorer in cash terms, I have been culturally enriched thanks to all the wonderful Art I was able to see with visits to the Louvre, Rodin's Museum and the Musee D'Orsay. I have returned recharged and raring to go.
One of the highlights for every tourist is the obligatory visit to Monmartre. The artists always draw a crowd and I was keen to have a good look at their portraits. It is interesting to watch them as they pull in the punters and how hard they work for fairly small sums of money. I was humbled when having declined the invitation to pose, I complimented the artist on his technique to be told, 'compliments don't buy bread........' coming from someone undoubtedly living from hand to mouth, it is a phrase that will stay with me for a long time.