Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Spotlight-Autumn Composition

irish painter artist orange painting autumn art cat

The spotlight this month is on ‘Autumn Composition’ from the Tapestry collection 2011 122cmx122cm oil on canvas, and is currently on show and available through The Doorway Gallery, Frederick Street South (off Nassau Street) Dublin 2.
I started painting this composition late last August.  I was inspired by a glut of courgette plants in the garden.  With the vibrant green and cream stripes of the fruits, striking foliage and beautiful soft buttery  yellow flowers, they were just begging to be painted.  So I struck out into the garden armed with a pair of secateurs and determination to see what else I could find  in and around my immediate surroundings.  My garden isn’t at its best at this time of year, when it comes down to picking flowers, spring is the best time of year here, and if it wasn’t for the ripe red rowan berries and the fushias in the hedgerows there wouldn’t be too much for my palette knife to get excited about.  However I did find some light magenta mallow flowers, some acid yellow flowering fennel, my much loved rose of Sharon and some jazzy dahlias that I pilfered from the tubs around the house.
So this was going to be a kitchen interior, with a theme based around the table, a cookery book is open on the table.  Cookery books have always held a fascination for me all my life from my early childhood in the 60’s, there was one such cookery paperback and I am sure it was an Elizabeth David, it was illustrated on the front and back with a lined black drawing, on a deep pink background, of a set table laden with good food and drink, with people sat down ready to tuck in, and on the back was the same table after everyone had eaten their fill and had departed leaving a cat on one of the chairs.  Maybe I mis remember it all and I have trawled the internet for it but to no avail.  However it still lives with me and I always think of it when I paint food on tables.
In ‘Autumn Compostion’ the yellow and magenta cat makes eye contact with the viewer, so pulling the eye to the back of the painting and so to the up ended rug which dominates the background with its woven complimentary colours of blues, greens and pinks, that help to  enhance and intensify the main dominant cadmium orange of the table, to intentionally  create even more impact. 
It turned out to be quite a challenging painting to get balanced and the cups went through a few colour changes before I settled on the rich warm earth brown that they are.
So I am pleased with this painting, as it has a sunny, uplifting effect on the senses, yet is balanced and intricate enough in its content to give back a lot of visual entertainment to the viewer.
+p.s I have found it a year and a half later well infact I have been looking for this book for decades....that is the cookery book that I mentioned earlier, I just have to add the image, as I am so excited that I have been reunited with this little book illustrated by David Gentleman, thank you Cat finding it for me, as you where researching for your 1950's interior book... so happy. And here it is in all its glory.

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