Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peonies in a Water Glass
14 x 16 Oil on Linen

I've been listening to a lot of chamber music recently. Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, trios, quartets, sextets...heaven. I love the intimacy of this music, I love the serious pieces and the playful, I love the conversations. It is so delightful to hear a violin play a melody, the viola respond, then the cello and piano voice their opinions before they all start talking at the same time and finally come to a resolution. Some artists might refer to small interiors as the chamber music of painting but I like to compose mine as still lifes. A few simple objects in conversation, they are often completed in one or two sittings. In Peonies in a Water Glass the flowers and their leaves, the water glass and the draperies all play their own parts beautifully yet move seamlessly in and out of conversation with each other. The rich blue drapery deeply moved by the delicacy of the peonies, the green stripe on the white cloth echos the color and rhythm of the leaves, the water glass hears them all and adds its own sparkling voice. All at once there is intimacy, profundity, playfulness and joy. Many artists think they need to be symphonic or operatic to be heard, often the louder the better. Others, like me, prefer to speak with more subtlety, with fewer voices, in trios and quartets and sextets.....

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