Monday, November 24, 2008

Oops. My pumpkin is starting to collapse. "It'll keep" I thought. I feel like a cartoon character caught in a dilemma with a good angel whispering in one ear and a bad devil whispering in the other. "It's okay Tom" said the good angel "you got a good start yesterday, don't be discouraged, keep going." "Don't be a sap" said the bad devil "the whole thing is ruined, wipe it out, ditch the still life and paint something else." "Think of the color" whispered good angel "and the design of the whole." "It's halfway to the compost heap already" sneered bad devil "just soak a rag in turpentine and get it over with. Who cares about beautiful painting anyway?" The little devil went too far there. So the pumpkin is collapsing, so what? Any good art student can paint a round pumpkin, where's the challenge in that? Try painting a convincing collapsing pumpkin. I accepted the challenge, the good angel sat on my shoulder to watch me work and the bad devil went off to see if he could create some mischief at the woodstove. So I set to work. Brilliant orange for the pumpkin, being careful not make it garish, a bit of reflected light coming back into the collapsed side. A rich, but not brilliant, yellow for the spaghetti squash, what a great chance to paint perspective. Colorful gourds in front. Drapery winding like a river around the pumpkins. "Not a bad days work" said the good angel...damn, why is the woodstove leaking smoke into the studio.....

3 comments:

Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb said...

I can't believe you made a story out of painting a collapsing pumpkin--such narrative powers!

In our basement, I just found two collapsed pumpkins that I'd been saving for the chickens. It was awful--rotten pumpkins smell of death. So paint quickly.

Thomas Torak said...

Paint quickly indeed. How often have I started out painting grapes and ended up painting raisins?

jeff f said...

I love this painting.
The movement and colors are a feast for the eyes.