Thursday, December 18, 2008

No. 63. Garlic and Recessionary Courgettes

Oils Still Life Study on canvas panel. 7" x 5". Click here to buy this study.

Another night-time study. With Christmas approaching and my darling wife out with her friends for the evening, I had plenty of time to sit quietly and paint. I threw this set-up together in the kitchen, as ever. I clamped my warm spotlight to a door of the overhead press; my daylight lamp to my table easel and began.

I liked the way the shadow fell across the courgettes, making them recede into the dark. I chose garlic to complement the courgettes, because I've always been a bit daunted by its flaky off-white-paperyness. Its always a shady little character and this time, I avoided depicting it for as long as I could before I started into it properly. There seemed to be no way of massing in the main body colour, as there was with the courgettes but I figured that, since this is all about learning, that I should take on these little challenges. Otherwise, what would be the point of these exercises? I had to drag my consciousness back to basics; Dabs! Dabs; you fool! 

The nicest part about this particular night's work was having the radio on in the background. I had it fixed on RTE 1 [Ireland's national public service station, for those of you who've dropped in from abroad] When I started painting, a rock music programme was drawing to an end. It was followed by Peter Browne's excellent traditional Irish music slot 'The Rolling Wave'. Finally, there was an audio documentary about the current crisis in the economy. Although not very encouraging to someone selling paintings, it made pleasurable listening. It's doubly gratifying to indulge in a hobby and to be able to listen to radio, while it paints a picture in your mind. Even if it is a depressing one. The recession, I mean.

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