Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Demo of pears

I've had a show hanging at a retirement community in NJ for the last couple of months (Medford Leas in Medford). A couple of weeks ago, they asked me to do a demo for their studio art group when I pick up the paintings. Gulp. I've done one demo in my entire life and that was for a class in which I was a student. So I'm going to do pears, my fall-back subject when I don't feel inspired by anything else. I've done pears in many ways and like the distinctiveness and simplicity of their shape.

So this time, as I stewed over this (no pun intended), I decided to buy pears and see what I could do to arrange them in some pleasing way. Yesterday I set out a large piece of foam core for its whiteness and arranged and rearranged the pears in what I hoped would be a good composition. Then I added a deep cobalt blue glass and a pottery bowl. I moved around the grouping, working on the shadows and the travel of the eye. I took them outside in the sun. I tweaked and fussed, all the time snapping photos from various heights (don't y'all just love digital cameras?). Finally, probably 40 or 50 photos later, I had something I liked. I printed it. I drew it. I did a sketch with charcoal pencil to check the values. I drew in onto a half sheet (14" x 20"). The size of the paper was part of my stewing because I wanted it big enough so people could see, but I didn't want gigundous pears. I like my paintings to fit in the standard frames I keep on hand.

So here's the charcoal sketch which is a little bigger than 5" x 7". The demo isn't until Friday, so you (and I) will have to wait for the actual painting, although I may do a smaller version today, being the impatient sort who hates to have a paper with a drawing and no paint hanging around.

I guess the amount of my preparation indicates my anxiety over how this will go. They've only seen my good paintings, not any of my screw-ups. Oh well.

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