Just a quick update on recent work. For a while now I’ve been wanting to add interesting background elements to my still life works. I had gotten into the habit of separating my objects from all context by showing them on a bare, white ground. This was significant, so I knew if I went back to backgrounds, I had to offer something different.
I’ve become obsessed with textiles and patterns lately, especially those in Indian rugs. I found they are a vehicle for introducing large blocks of abstract color in combination with realism. In this painting, I also left the wood panel bare as part of a more interesting ground.
I am also experimenting a lot with collage, because it is a shortcut to introducing those blocks and shapes into the background, in this case an image of trees taken from a 1960s cigarette ad. The trees in front of it are painted by hand, as are the dancing bears, which I stole from the 19th century painter William Holbrooke Beard.
Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that, in the race to the holidays – during which I will be making gifts and decorations and shopping and generally getting very little time to myself – I will continue to work little collage pieces when I get snippets of time. I hope they will be a way to work out some compositional and color-related inquiries I have, in addition to inspiring longer, bigger works (for which I am already collecting ideas.) Here are a few recent experiments:
Until next time!