Saturday, December 13, 2008


Eggplants, in progress 1

Eggplants, in progress 2

7/23. Eggplants, oil on linen on panel, 6x8 in.

A piece from way back in summer before the mango, done over several nights. (What I remember is,) the first night I couldn't really get into it, partly because the big eggplant had a coloring that was a cooler purple than the skinny one and that I had trouble zeroing in on; moreover, I couldn't figure out how to "draw" the complicated striping on the big eggplant.

On the big eggplant especially, I found myself going back and forth between rendering form (the dullish, even spread of light) and surface gloss (the clean, juicy shadow tones), which process was complicated again by the busy stripy pattern.

The second session was either the next night or two nights later, and the third session a few nights after that, so that the skinny eggplant (which was already getting mushy) had enough time to undergo some natural transformation. A few of these "changes" I left out because they were either difficult to add on top of what I had already painted or because they were simply very unappealing. My backdrop must not have been simple or solid enough because I played around with some different colors (blues, greys) and was unsure how to keep it.

At some point I had gotten a tube of aureolin (cobalt yellow) because Williamsburg and others mention its use "in some of Turner's skies." I had taken to using Indian yellow because of its transparency but wondered how the cooler aureolin would work (good enough for Turner!), so I tried some of it in the yellow background at the third stage. I found it to be much greener than I would have liked and spent a lot of time trying to undo the experiment (it's quite strong), perhaps overcorrecting towards the too-hot—and making another example of excessive chroma syndrome, or whatever they call it. I don't dislike it though; and as far as the baffling stripy pattern goes, I was satisfied enough with the somewhat impressionist treatment of it (good enough for me).


Jody said...

I thought these eggplants were really quite stunning.


Ralph said...

I agree with Jody. Fabulous work!

melissa santos said...

I LOVE THIS! looks very realistic & the compliments are beautiful.

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tom said...

tom said...

Fabulous eggplants! The contrast of colors mesmerized me with the precise distinction! nice!