Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gnarled Apple - Abstraction

"Gnarled Apples"
5x7, oil

These gorgeous fall days are almost getting to be too much to bear! How much longer can they last? At low tide, we hiked from the Lower Duck Pond around Gooseberry Point to Mink Point and back - an absolutely wonderful one-hour walk across unspoiled broad, sandy beaches and shingle ledges. Once done, though, I decided to paint something a bit more domestic. The bare apple trees in our field were calling to me. There are still apples left on the trees, clinging in all their beautiful color of fall. I thought they'd make a nice "abstraction."

My first thought was how to make the apples stand out. The values of apple, limb and background were very close, so I decided to focus more on temperature contrast. I analyzed the red of the apples as a cool red, and so I first laid in a dark, yellow-green background for contrast before putting in the apples. As I worked, I began to detect more warmth in the apples (the sun, which had been behind a thin scrim of clouds, began to come out), so I added a warmer red and then scumbled in a cooler, blue-green into the background. I think this interplay of warm/cool helps to make the scene mimic some of the natural complexity of color temperatures we see. Not everything is so cut-and-dry as to have the foreground all warm and the background, all cool. Bits of both ends of the scale appear everywhere.

So...does it work, or doesn't it? I relish your input!

1 comment:

Miki Willa said...

The movement in this is quite exciting. The apples seem to be swaying to a slight breeze. The angles of the limbs are quite wonderful. I really like this. It works for me quite well.