|Outdoor Still Life - 2011 - 16"x20"|
The painting above was a still life piece that I painted in the early spring of 2011. The boquet was one that I had in the studio for a large piece that I slaved over in March of that year. The flowers must have some chemicals in them that kept them alive, because I believe that this was painted in May, and well, the flowers were not wilted.
I was looking at the paintings of Henry Hensche, and other artists associated with the Cape School of Art at this time. While Hensche would develop his sophisticated color harmonies over a series of days, my paintings in 2011 were mostly completed in one session. The flowers in this still life are mainly divided into masses of light and shade, there is not much development in color shifts beyond the simplest division of light and shade.
I also was observing and painting the phenomena of halation in this painting. Halation is similar to refraction, it's light bouncing off of the flowers in this case, because the sunlight was very bright on this day. Refraction is light bending around an object, which I suppose is somewhat different. Physics aside, it's just painting your observations. When your eyes are squinted, you will see little flares of light bouncing around in your subject, and it's fun to try and include those. It's also something that happens when your eyes become fatigued from painting way too much. I had that problem alot in 2011.
These days, I try to do less with color shifts inside the major masses, or halation. Maybe I'll go back to those ideas, but I think that it is always a good idea to error on the side of simplicity in painting. Something done well, but very simply can say a lot with very little.