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So what’s your shelf life?

First of all,let me explain the title. I’m not talking about your expiry date! Proper grammar has been sacrificed to focus on some pictures I’ve just added to the still life gallery. They’re  4″x4″ framed little  ‘shelf sitters’. What makes them that way is the deep front loading frames that they ‘sit’ in. The official description is gallery depth. In fact, that’s what I intended them to do and I have enjoyed having them on display in different places around the house. They have also been on walls and have been ‘wired’ at the back to give that option.

As I recall,they were really fun to paint and I was in the mood to do ‘alla prima‘ that day. That’s an Italian word meaning ‘at once‘ or if you prefer french,  ‘ premier coup’. Sounds exotic but this simply dresses up the fact that in english we  say ‘direct painting‘, meaning that it was done while the paint was still wet or finished in one sitting. Now, you might think that working this way is a sign of a true virtuoso (bad ass painter) . Really it boils down to being able to make decisions that you will have to live with and then just  enjoying the ride. The end result is looser because it is more difficult to achieve crisp edges this way. It’s also harder to keep you colour ‘clean’ so a bit more time thinking it out beforehand is usually a good idea. All that being said, some really ‘ bad ass painters’ have completed masterpieces this way. If you search google images for ‘alla prima’ painters you will find a bunch.

So prior to choosing the technique how do you decide what to paint? I remember a young boy standing with hands on hips, surveying my still life paintings at a local art fair. He spoke out loud with an incredulous tone in his voice, “Why on earth would anyone ever want to paint pictures of  vegetables?” Good question. I have a long answer for that but in this case the driving force was simply a bad pun. Some of my still life ideas do come to me while cleaning out the fridge (don’t judge me) and on this particular day, I saw some old lemons that were almost beyond salvage and so I thought  ….” hey, band-aids…lemon-aid, orange-aid”…..I can hear the groans…
Anyway, I like the frames; nice and chunky at 1.5″.  They can compete with the best of knick knacks on a shelf or light up a spot on the wall. Art can improve your shelf life 🙂
I’m going to clean my fridge now….

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