|Yellow Candy Dish|
18 x 28
I've been noticing that I don't feel comfortable with yellow; it doesn't disappear off my palette very quickly, and I don't own any yellow still life objects. Or I didn't own any until I saw this gorgeous, iridescent candy dish in a thrift shop. It issued a challenge to me, and I bought it.
The yellow was a joy to work with for its exuberance and boldness. I admit that there isn't much pure yellow other than in the thick highlight, but there's the illusion of lots of yellow in the muted, purple-influenced dish, and I sprinkled the colour throughout the painting in greyed form so that it didn't feel isolated.
The eye does go straight to it, it's true, but then I think you make at least one full circuit of the painting, clockwise from the red berries in the dish. I find myself viewing it in a spiral fashion for 1 1/2 revolutions; the first encompassing the lower half of the painting and tracking through the red objects, and then coming up into the red shawl behind the candy dish and following it around and back down into the foreground.
The echoing of curves and colour overcome the perils of central placement. So if the goal of a composition is to move the viewer's eye through it and keep it engaged, I think this succeeds.
Lastly, this is painted on the coarse linen that I bought in rather huge quantity during the summer. Because the weave is so obvious, it requires some adjustments during painting; mainly it just requires a lot of paint. The weave breaks up the paint surface and dims the paint in the same way as looking at a colourful flower through a screen door dims the flower. So I have to apply many more layers, much of it with a palette knife, before I achieve clean, vibrant colour. That's not a bad thing, and it means that there's a great variety in the paint consistency in this piece.
It was a challenge, and those keep a painter fresh.