Monday, June 2, 2008

Cantaloupes and Grapes
16 x 18 Oil on Linen

Arthur Rubenstein described the music of Brahms this way, "Brahms was to a certain degree influenced by Schubert and Schumann, and his music is full of exuberance, but there is always the restraining hand of the classicist in him." Without comparing myself to either of these towering talents, I would say that this is an amazingly accurate account of my approach to painting as well. Cantaloupes and Grapes was started, as noted in the previous post, as a demonstration piece. I usually see demos as interesting but uninspired works and often wipe them out to save the canvas for another day. This one was different. I could see right away there was something compelling about the composition. It was begun so quickly, however, I didn't have time to hear the music. Now that everyone was gone, out of the silence came Brahms. I eagerly sat down to rework the painting. I had painted well the first day so there wasn't much to do. Reinforce the opacities, bring out the color a bit, clean up the drawing, add a little detail. There was a lot not to do. Don't force the color, don't let the expression overpower the structure, don't lose the rhythm and design. Romantic, exuberant, restrained.....

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