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Lemons

February 20, 2012

White bowl

I was having a discussion with Kristina and sandi (from ‘sandi’s bottles’ fame)  about lemons in paintings. And how, for me, avocados and those dark purple plums hold the same appeal, especially when combined with that luminous lemon yellow.

The painting above was one of the first oil paintings I did after seeing the Elizabeth Blackadder show last August, and it was the first one I felt good about. The ones that came after didn’t have that same sponteneity. It is as if this one was given (it really was- first I made a tiny thumbnail of it in oil pastel and then cranked this out in one sitting) as a sort of beacon to paint toward. And everything that came after that for awhile fell short.  I never recovered that same certainty about where it wanted to go until recently.

 

Lemon and plums

This one is quite small and came much later. It was the first one where I started to see the potentials in leaving part of the acylic underpainting showing as in the bottles on the top left and the shadow of the lemon. And it led to the recent bottle series. (But bottles figure in a lot of my work, look at the top half of the top painting in this post for instance).

I can’t say that the composition was intentional, it just sort of grew.  I love the colors. They really do capture what I liked best about my oil pastels, the light airy blues against the rich aubergines and greens. And then that sunny lemon yellow shining. And all of it set off against a foil of burnt sienna.

So these two are more about where I want to go in my heart, rather than the super realistic last bottle one. These have the element of play that I want to enjoy while I’m painting.

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4 Responses to “Lemons”

  1. Michael Davidson "Mon " aka Monocle Says:

    I can’t say that the composition was intentional, it just sort of grew. I love the colors. They really do capture what I liked best about my oil pastels, the light airy blues against the rich aubergines and greens. And then that sunny lemon yellow shining. And all of it set off against a foil of burnt sienna.
    This is what I love about your blog ; colors heal ; life is energy ; and when we open our heart our intuition flows ; to heal and transform
    you write

    So these two are more about where I want to go in my heart, rather than the super realistic last bottle one. These have the element of play that I want to enjoy while I’m painting
    WoW….thanks for sharing this which for me is a powerful example of a master whose learned craft
    is expressed through the hearts consciousness and wisdom Like the colors…Subtle and Beautiful /
    Monocle

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Thanks Michael. I appreciate your sensitive responses to my work and intent.

      About opening our heart and intuition flowing, that is a new old insight for me. One I seem to have to keep having, how important an open heart is to intuition being able to flow. It can’t happen when there is forcing, attachment, need for things to turn out a certain way, etc. thanks.

  2. decorartuk Says:

    Hi, Sarah, thank you for posting these – as I understand you’re very busy at the moment, so I really appreciate you coming back to our discussion so quickly. Anyway, some thoughts about the paintings…

    Both are very different: if I didn’t know anything about them I might have said that these have actually been done by two artists. The objects you chose are very similar, yet the style of executing these still-lives is so different – I’d say the first one is very light and uplifting, yet the second one – a bit more down to earth; although both aren’t too realistic and very contemporary.

    I like the first one more – it’s very fresh and clean, so the colours of the fruit are very bright. The mood is so light and the whole painting is just fun – really pleasant to look at. I’d also say it’s very Scandinavian as people on that side of the Baltic love white and “clean” interiors. By the way, the plums are just perfect! and the lemon shape although a bit “cornery” is very good too.

    The second painting – I like some of the colours (greens and blues) and the “smudges” that can be achieved only using pastels. Well, as I mentioned this painting is a bit “heavier” and even “earthy”, I guess the browns you’ve used add to this overall feeling.

    What I enjoyed in this post the most is how you describe how your paintings evolve – when the bottles started, where you noticed that under-painting works etc. I guess I never analyse my painting process like that, but maybe I should take a closer look at everything too.

    K.

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Hi Kristina, thanks for your thoughtful reply. It was interesting to read your impressions of these two paintings.

      I go through styles very quickly in my curiosity to try things out. I agree with you that these two paintings look like they could have been done by different artists. if you throw my oil pastel collages, oil pastels on my website homepage, and recent oil paintings into the mix, you have a group of artists really. Really I don’t have multiple personality disorder 🙂 However, friends and customers seem to see a ‘Sarah’ thread running through it all, so that is reassuring. Though it is not easy to define.

      I wouldn’t think too hard about your art at this stage, these insights only seem to work with hindsight anyway. Just keep painting, that is the most important thing. cheers, Sarah


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