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Two and a half pomegranates in oil.

Now that I have the gallery, I have to do more studio painting, since I can’t lock up every day and go painting plein air. I’m having a hard time though, adapting to studio work  “in public”. I’ve always preferred working privately in my atelier at home. Now I’m very self conscious and I worry about every stroke when there are eyes on me. I get distracted easily by what is going on outside and by people wandering in and out. I initially thought it wouldn’t bother me too much, but it does. Maybe down the road it will change.

…Two and half pomegranates…

oil on board, 40x40cm (15.7×15.7)

I’ve fallen into the habit of starting something in the atelier/gallery and then get completely distracted,  leave it, bring it home and finish it here at night. Like this painting. And it results in not being me. I  find the light very different, the atmosphere is different and even my mood is different. Working on the same still life in two different places just doesn’t sit right with me.

This is a very careful little painting, with no interest. If I look at it, I see a painting done by someone who was afraid to PAINT! Which was exactly the case. There is still this fear and uncertainty that has crept into my oil painting, as I’ve mentioned before.

I was never very fascinated by still life before and I still don’t get very excited about it. But there is a certain kind of meditation that creeps into doing a still life. I experienced it here in the barn at night, when I’m alone and painting on the still life…I sort of like the quietude that a still life conveys. Being someone who doesn’t have a “calm” personalty, I discovered that doing a still life is quite therapeutic for me. I think that is what will make a still life work for me…reaching that moment when I can feel my painting’s quietness, but without having it look and feel static. I will post some more still lifes later.

11 responses

  1. strawberry228

    really nice picture and I especially like combination of colours! :)

    July 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  2. well, Ron, I really like it too, your colours are ace and your brushwork is very expressive, dont be so tough on yourself, your personality is in your paintings and plein air or still lives, they are strong, true and good.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

  3. My mom loved oil and pastel.. this post reminds me of her..I can imagine how distracting painting is w/ spectators! Not to mention.. well a bit ..uncomfortable at times?

    I would be nervous I think..Wait..I know..

    This has an old world charm Ronelle..like your gallery~

    July 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

  4. E-J

    I like still life for that quiet, meditative quality that it can have, though these days I’m really having to push myself to do it (fears of … oh, I don’t know … failure? … worrying that whatever I undertake won’t be good enough … or more likely, fear of success because I know the effort and commitment that a successful painting will require!) I do know that if I was required to work on a full-scale painting in full view of others, I would be completely inhibited.

    I love the rich, dark blood-red of that cut pomegranate!

    July 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

  5. Beautiful Ronelle! I love the color combination!
    Enjoy!
    Ixx

    July 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  6. just a couple more minutes considering composition – and you”ll get used to painting in public I’m sure

    What about having a go at painting from all those beautiful free plein air sketches?

    July 7, 2011 at 11:07 pm

  7. I hope that your public painting will be more comfortable and you will adjust quickly. I fully understand painting with an audience and it can be unnerving…however, if you look at it from THEIR point of view, they are simply fascinated and not critical. They wish they could do it. They also think of how easy it is. Big laugh there. What is hard are the voices and questions. Perhaps you can say you will take questions in ten minutes or so…don’t know, it is hard to work through. With all that said I love your pomegranates…the one to the left, the leaf and stem have marvelous colors in them; the seeds are lush and dark…be proud. Soon someone will own it.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

  8. I sure do understand the feeling one gets when painting in public, imagining all the critical thoughts coming from the watchers. But I’ve learned that most people are simply fascinated by watching an artist paint. They want you to succeed, and since they can’t read your mind they think that each stroke of the brush is exactly as you meant it to be. Even painters watching another painter are mentally encouraging the painter. Just do it. You WILL get used to it as you paint more and more in your atelier.
    I think Vivien had the right idea… to paint from some of your watercolor sketches. Perhaps using more medium to make your oils more fluid and lightweight in feeling, like watercolor, would make you feel freer with the painting.
    Perhaps you could turn your back to your audience as you paint, and/or put up a little sign that you need to be quiet as you paint but will be able to answer questions in a few minutes.
    I got used to painting in public a few years ago when painting with a group in La Rochelle. The watchers were very kind, stopping to watch for a few minutes, and moving on. Of course I wasn’t running a gallery, like you are, nor was I interested in selling work on the spot.
    You can do it. Go for it.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:15 am

  9. Your remarks about painting in public are very interesting; I’m sure it would have an effect on me too; I completely understand what you mean. And I also agree with your remarks on still lives: I didn’t use to be a great fan of still lives, but I love painting them because, yes, it is so very soothing.

    July 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

  10. Just think of those folks as cats and just let them roam around.

    July 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

  11. Not being overly familiar with your work, I cannot say if the painting is overly careful and reflects someone’s fear of painting, BUT your words have certainly struck a note with me. Thank you for articulating so clearly something that plagues my work as well.

    Perseverance and patience to work through with a keen outlook on what needs to be changed seems to be the best way forward.

    July 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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