Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Woman with Fishbowl: #2, in progress

I've been working on a painting of two artists, twins, in their studio, which is coming along quite well, but have put it aside for a couple weeks to spend some time on a simpler composition of a woman holding a fishbowl - a narrative theme that has recurred in my paintings several times over the years.

Woman with Fishbowl: #2
in progress, oil on linen, 17" x 15"

The background is all that's left to do and my main decision now is what colors to paint the stripes on the upper half of the wall: in light reds or in pale ivory tones. The lower half will be white wainscoting. I'm also toying with the idea of adding a cat - Mr. Epps - in the lower left corner. He's not in the original drawings. Will see. 

I tried a number of colors for the blouse, beginning with blue. As a complementary color to the orange color of the fish, a blue should have created a lively energy, but all the ones I mixed seemed flat instead. Greens and purples were no better, and a dark grey, while seeming hopeful, also didn't work. When I finally tried red, it immediately felt right. The quiet harmony of the orange against the red suited the mood. 

Here are two earlier paintings on the theme:

Woman with Fishbowl
1997, oil on linen, 18" x 18"
Private collection, New York

1980, oil on masonite, 3.5" x 4.5"
Private collection, Connecticut

Mr. Epps made his first appearance in the above painting, being Claire's cat. Meanwhile, the fish has grown over the years.

1 comment:

  1. Please add Mr. Epps! Of all your paintings (which I adore and which move me), "Playing With Mr. Epps" is my all-time favorite. I adore that little guy so much.
    - Ilene



"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn