I’ve combined a few favourite subjects here to make an arrangement in which I’ve tried to create a gentleness and hopefully harmony too, of colour and shape.
There are deliberate echoes of curves, something I’ve been doing ever since I did a couple of years of composition practice based on Arthur Wesley Dow’s ideas. I was more deliberate about them here, and made some subtle changes to the actual shapes of the subject as I worked through this painting.
Hopefully the shape repetitions are not obvious, but hopefully also they are felt, nonetheless.
There was also a subtlety to the colours, especially the main colour of the bowl, the background and the cloth, that I found very hard to capture well.
Those colours are such low chroma, so close to grey, that even the Munsell book wasn’t sufficient to help me catch them. In the end, it took a lot of readjustment with scumbles to get close – and a lot of squinting!
Conventional wisdom says that compositions should feature strong contrasts of light and dark, should be powerful. I do paint like that sometimes.
But I often find myself drawn to much quieter and more subtle values that I think must reflect something about my temperament. I suspect that my gentler paintings may have more of me in them.
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