Saturday, February 16, 2008

Looking Back
20 x 28 Oil on Linen

In contrast to Yin/Yang in the previous post this painting is all about subject matter. Here the design supports the subject, making the viewer feel as if they are standing to the right and looking back into the painting. But the objects themselves have meaning too. One could assume that since there are no modern objects that the painting is about looking back to another time. The silver pitcher might remind one of the 19th century. The rich velvet and crisp linen may look back to the 16th century Venetian merchants or the 17th century Dutch clothmakers. Unknown to the viewer, however, is the personal connection to the artist. This was set up to help celebrate my friend Jane's 87th birthday. She is a regular member of our sketch class so Elizabeth set up a large still life and invited the group over to our studio to draw, followed by cake and ice cream. This painting is only a small part of what was set up but it gives me pleasure to look back on the good fellowship we enjoyed that day. The silver pitcher belonged to Elizabeth's grandmother who was an important part of my life so this painting also reminds me to look back at time we had together. I remember listening to Verdi's Rigoletto while I was working on this piece, perhaps we are looking back to the palace of the Duke of Mantua and this was on a sideboard in the Duke's bedchamber as he seduced Gilda.....

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