Title and Medium
Wafer-thin Vases and Jar. Oil on canvas. 80 cm x 80 cm
Raw and burnt sienna, burnt umber, vermillion, carmine alizarin, cerulean and ultramarine blue, emerald and phtalo green, cadmium yellow lemon, white.
How a square canvas suddenly looks so big in comparison with other types of formats of a corresponding size! Here, a size of 80 x 80 cm looked to me as big as one of 40 Figure (100 cm x 81 cm)! This work has been made (humbly) in tribute to Claudio Bravo, a hyper realistic (nearly photorealistic) Chilean painter I admire so much. He lived in Morocco and was fond of oriental jars, curtains, marbles, colors and sun. To my eyes, he was a magician.
I treated these three objects as a family posing for a family photo. The scene behind them shows a regatta in a family seaside resort: holiday atmosphere... I have tried to unify the light in an impressionistic manner between forehand and backhand. That is also why I have not blurred the boats in the distance to avoid an excessive clear-cut fore plan. Only skyline and mountains are blurry.
It is also very hard to marry the complementary colors: orange and blue, red and green and also, on negative spaces, between the jar and the wafer-thin vases, between the boats themselves and through the handles. The craggy outline of the mountains echoes the lid of the amphora. Idea for the band of ultramarine blue on the jar is that it evokes the ocean. I treated the sky and the dark part of the curtain in nearly a uniform manner in order to contrast with the decorative patterns and cracks on the objects. Technically, there are moments of alla prima, impastos and glazings: it is very hard to explain the overall process and tempo.
What I'd Do Differently
- I seem to be very ambitious here, may be a little too much in regard with the result. Is the painting coherent?
- Are the objects not too imposing? Aren’t they occupying the center surface excessively, so interfering with the sight of the viewers?
Marion Boddy-Evans, About.com Painting, says:A square format does present quite a different compositional challenge! Looking at this and the others you've done for this project (watermelon and Tin Pot) I notice there's a consistency in where you've placed the foreground/background and wondered how conscious a decision this was.
With this painting I'm not entirely convinced that the pots and background sit comfortably together; it feels like it's missing the middle ground, or the hint of a window (to give context to the background).