©2015 R.L. Delight, Time Vault, 14"x 11", oil on canvas
I am going to do this post a bit backward, time-wise. I am starting with this finished painting and explaining my thoughts that went into this painting. I will finish with the final process pictures.
To begin this still life, I started with an idea that came to me while looking at my collection of jetsam and flotsam. I love using finds gathered from the beach for still life subjects, particularly wood, stone, and glass. I am looking for a way to put these informal, organic natural elements into a formal still life. I believe pulling these objects out of their natural surroundings can bring a sharp focus to their individual beauty. I find these to be not only beautiful, but they also embody a sensuous quality of their own outside of being part of the beautiful whole of a natural scene, such as a beach.
I don't feel I have been entirely successful in achieving that yet, but I am just getting started. I worked a bit with the composition. I love the big chunk of wood board that is starting to be battered smooth from its pounding of waves, sand, and rock. The iron spike has been hammered by the elements to wrap around the board. I wanted to show the point of entry, and that wrapping that has been forged by nature.
The rocks have crumbled down from the cliffs that surround Short Sands beach. Those cliffs were once underwater and formed an ancient seabed. There are layers and fossils. The rocks are composed of compressed sand and silty organic matter. They make very smooth and interesting shapes. I must confess, rocks have always fascinated me. My parents joked that whenever we moved, most of the weight in my moving boxes were rocks. To live with me, one must tolerate rocks. I have bowls of rocks around me rather than vases of flowers, although, I like flowers too.
When I set this still life up, I chose the board and rocks mainly on my response to their shape and texture. Once set up, I realized that I was looking at not only rocks and wood, but a slice of time that spanned more than my life time. The title, Time Vault, seemed fitting as the remnants of a once living seabed and tree are bound up in these present day forms.
Once I set up the still life to my satisfaction I immediately saw that within each angular form, there was a circular form that gives another repetition and relation. I rather liked that!
As always, I used this opportunity to experiment and grow in my understanding of technique. It is a joy and a challenge.
Here are the remaining process pictures starting with where I left off, with drawing, dark accents, shadow shapes, and light shapes completed.
Light shapes added.
Values and drawing corrected. Details added.
Continuing to refine drawing and values, adding detail
And just for fun!:
Tomorrow I will be cleaning the studio and getting ready for my next project. Have a great weekend!