Watering cans and dainty shoes

In art class this afternoon, Casey set up a still life outside…after we enjoyed a delicious lunch of Courgette soup with sesame seeds, followed by a wonderful tomato, coriander and pine nut quiche and ended with strawberries and blood orange dessert and madeleines…I hope you are all drooling now..

It was tough getting into drawing afterwards, but we did the best we could. We had a friend there whose shoes we all admired, so she unceremoniously stacked her shoes as part of the still life….

I wanted to try a different medium today. The first one is done in a walnut stain wash and then finished off with pen and conte in different colors on Arches HP. Although not the right medium for those dainty shoes, I did it nonetheless, since I haven’t worked with it before. I do like the medium and will definitely experiment more.

I thought I owed it to those shoes to make them look kind of pretty, so the second is done in pen and watercolor on Arches HP. The composition is a bit off in both cases, among other things, but let’s say I felt like watching the world go by rather than joining it. (See what Judi says about this “watching the world buzz by”… http://everythingiscontextual.blogspot.com/2007/04/work-is-for-birds.html


Teri C said…
Well first, I am drooling reading about that wonderful lunch. Then I went right into amazement over that new paint and then into awe over those shoes!! Yo all have so much fun on your art dates!! Wish I could join you.
April 24, 2007 9:23 PM  
Lin said…
What a juxtaposition of materials –!! And yet all treated beautifully by your hand!! LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY!
April 24, 2007 9:30 PM  
Dave said…
ovely work, and what amazing shoes! That must have been a fun day.
April 24, 2007 9:44 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
Wow, that was fast! These look great. I’m really impressed with what you did with the ‘brou de noix’ I’m going to have to try that.
April 24, 2007 9:55 PM  
Lynn said…
Whoa, those shoes rock! What a happy, quirky composition this turned out to be. You did an outstanding job on both paintings.
April 24, 2007 11:50 PM  
janey said…
I like this both very much. Same scene but so different because of the color and medium. And what a neat idea to add shoes to the still life.
April 25, 2007 12:10 AM  
Lindsay said…
I like them both but I like the walnut wash one best! Gives it an air of Morrocan Mystery. And btw, you guys are having entirely TOO much fun! What foodies you are!!! Yes, I am drooling and I even just finished dinner.
April 25, 2007 1:55 AM  
Brenda Y said…
What a fabulous lunch and an even more fantastic art session. I love both of these and can’t say which I like best. I DO like the dainty shoes thrown in, they are unexpected as if they were kicked off in favor of gardening.
April 25, 2007 2:54 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
This is my first time visiting your blog and web-site and what joy it’s been. I love your watercolors and the way you use color … what a delightful touch your drawing and paintings have.
April 25, 2007 2:56 AM  
mARTa said…
well, first of all….I love the one in brou de noix best…it’s mysterious. Second…..I am thrilled that I’ll be able to share one of those wonderful meals with both of you in just a few months!
April 25, 2007 4:42 AM  
soulcomfort said…
Just wandered through your blog and love your work!! I aspire…. 🙂
April 25, 2007 5:45 AM  
platitudinal said…
I like the monochromatic look of the first painting with walnut stain. Each object seems to compliment each other and no one competes for the sole attention — even those pretty shoes in the middle. It gives a feeling of harmony.On the second painting, there’s no doubt who is the star of the picture … before I read your writing, I thought those were the sandals you use when you’re gardening. Fancy Ronell! Hehe. Bzzzzzzzz …
April 25, 2007 12:44 PM  
E-J said…
Great juxtaposition. Imagine gardening in those shoes! 🙂 Each of these is lovely in its own, quite different, way. Forgive my ignorance, but what is a walnut stain wash?
April 25, 2007 3:26 PM  
artnewbie said…
Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for your kind comments. Well, I just love these pictures, especially the dark stain one – exotic, and such fun! Diane.
April 25, 2007 7:08 PM  
suzanne said…
These are both gorgeous. I’m particularly drawn to the first one. Though the walnut wash isn’t necessarily “dainty” it realy allows the shoes to shine. You do a wonderful job of adding highlights which helps a whole lot. Oh, and your meal sounds wonderful as well…sure beats my subway sandwich!
April 25, 2007 7:51 PM  
Robyn said…
Is walnut stain what I think it is? Something one rubs into one’s skirting board! Whatever it is, is is so effective and I adore the shoes. It must be the French influence to wear such shoes to art class!
April 26, 2007 7:56 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
osh this whole post is just fantastic. I love the top picture Ronell – but then I am always taken by anything in sepia tones. Really stunning.
April 27, 2007 1:45 AM  
Diahn said…
Wonderful – I have to echo the others’ love of the juxtaposition of the items in the still life – and I have to envy those SHOES!!! :DIsn’t it grand to have an art buddy? Lucky you!
April 27, 2007 4:45 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
REALLY beautiful pieces! I’m amazed that you used a walnut stain, it turned out incredible! 🙂
April 27, 2007 9:07 AM  
Sarah said…
i love the contrast between the delicate beaded shoes, and the watering can. This is a great image, beautifully executed. Like the sepia version too
April 27, 2007 2:52 PM  
phthaloblu said…
Those shoes are so very dainty and pretty! Nice job on both of these sketches. Thanks alot for the food cravings!
April 27, 2007 3:41 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
Wow! These are both fabulous. I love your work and woke up this morning thinking about and picturing your menu paintings from the last time I visited.

The details of a wisteria

The wisterias are magnificent now, their beauty cascading over walls and pergolas and trees and gates, windows and towers, roofs and even pathways. I just had to take on a painting or two, try and capture a little of their glory.

I tried twice again, not being too happy with the first try. I took on another corner, more “architectural”, more detailed, brighter colors, with which I am quite content..it feels like “me”.


And I just can’t get away from it- detail- I need detail. Without it, I can’t stress. I can’t be obsessive compulsive. Without detail in my life, I can’t experience beauty. I can’t create beauty. Without detail, life is very foggy and leaves only an impression of what might be out there…very much like the first painting of these wisterias.


Watercolor and ink on Arches HP
23 x 31cm (9″ x 12″)



Fanta said…
Wonderful again, Ronell. I love the way the shadows “dance” on the wall surface created by your careful layering, especially in the first one.
Have a great Sunday!
April 22, 2007 2:01 PM  
Lindsay said…
I like how you do these a couple of times! Lovely job.
I’ve been trying to get my wisteris to bloom for YEARS. Stubborn things refuse to flower.
April 22, 2007 5:14 PM  
Teri C said…
You are persistant arn’t you! The signs of a good detail person….I recognize it because that’s me too.Those wisteria are wonderfu and beautiful. So glad you persisted to your satisfaction.BTW, I was just reading about creativity and a detail person is called “bios’ or the dteails of life, and the person that has an overview of things is called ‘zoe’ or the essence of life.

Hmm, I bet that is more information than you wanted! 🙂

April 22, 2007 6:43 PM  
Lin said…
GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS!!!! The frost nipped ours and I haven’t seen much since then — so I am thoroughly enjoying yours!! Did you know you can eat the flowers?? BUT ABSOLUTELY NOT THE SEEDS!!
April 22, 2007 11:13 PM  
Lin said…
PS — I’M RIGHT THERE WITH YOU AND DETAIL … MAKES ME SO UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN I LEAVE IT OUT!!! Hard to learn to live with simlicity — i do love the detail!!! lol
April 22, 2007 11:14 PM  
Dave said…
I love wisteria, and you’ve really captured it in these lovely pictures!
April 22, 2007 11:36 PM  
beautiful! i LOVE wisteria and the draping laziness of it. great pictures!
April 23, 2007 1:59 AM  
Nancy said…
Love the wisteria – I, too, have been trying to get mine to bloom – they are 9 years old now. Is there any hope?These a gorgeous!
April 23, 2007 5:13 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Oh my gosh, I just love these! My favorite is the first one. I’m such a sucker for blue. Very beautiful! 🙂
April 23, 2007 9:26 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
These are both beautiful, but the second one does more to convey the delicacy of wisteria – such a tough subject.
April 23, 2007 10:59 AM  
Sandy said…
I love Wisteria and mine is huge, but never blooms !!!!! I want to paint them too!!! Just Lovely! You have been busy!
April 23, 2007 5:07 PM  
Carole said…
I’m another wisteria fan, and I agree that you’ve really got the essence of wisteria in this second painting. The twisted branches and those wonderful long cascades of blue/lilac flowers. I once painted the detail of just one of those tiny little flowers – I may post it on my blog.
April 23, 2007 10:55 PM  
phthaloblu said…
I understand all about detail. Yep! As much as I try to get away from it, I am only happy when it looks like what I’m looking at. These are both so beautiful. I love wisteria, too, the way it hangs and looks. It’s all around my house, but not in my yard. Wonderfully done.
April 24, 2007 3:15 PM  
platitudinal said…
Thank you for your unrelenting pursue of details, we all benefit from it and get to enjoy the beauty you created based from your search.*Honestly speaking, though, Ronell, I think both takes of the wisterias are appealing. 🙂