In the Kitchen IV

Mom's Home Cooking progression ©Rebecca Finch

It’s Time for Big Decisions 

There are a few more things that are needed before the painting is signed. The cookbook needs a few correcting strokes as some of the angles are a little off. And some decisions need to be made for the background. There’s much empty space in the top half, and something needs to be done there, but what, I am not quite sure. I will probably go to some large brushwork, there. Here’s where a painting can be made stronger or weaker – in the last wrapping up session.

I do like the lower left corner, and how the towel seems to emerge from the background – something happening, yet not too distracting. I hope to create that same effect for the rest of the background.

In the Kitchen III

Mom's Home Cooking progression ©Rebecca FinchIt’s amazing what a few hours of concentration and about 50-70 correctly placed shapes of accurate value and temperature will do. I realize that was probably a few terms you may not be familiar with if you’re not an artist. So, let me explain a little to you as I continue my painting. I may have to split this little lesson up in a few posts, so let’s tackle phrase #1 for today.

“Correctly Placed Shapes”: It may sound really strange to you, but if you want to paint accurately, one must pretty much forget what is being painted. For instance, when I was painting the apples, I had to fight the urge to think “stem, top of the apple, bruise on the apple. . .etc. ” Because when I do that, I’m pulling on the left side of my brain that has records of images of what an apple should look like. I can draw an apple from memory, but it can’t possibly match the one I’m looking at.

When I paint, I’m literally thinking, ” bright red skinny shape, right next to a wider, yet shorter shape that is a tad more blue than the first red skinny shape.” I have to look at the colors and compare them to the color next to it. It’s a mind bender sometimes. Somedays I’m right there in the “zone” as I like to call it, but other days I’m not concentrating and it pretty much falls apart before my eyes.

I’ll explain Temperatures and Values to you at a later date. I hope you enjoyed your mini art lesson!

In the Kitchen II

Mom's Home Cooking progression ©Rebecca FinchAs promised, here is a better and slightly updated photograph. The sun went behind the trees very fast today as our days are getting shorter and shorter. Currently I have direct sunlight through my studio from noon until around 3pm.

More highlights were added to the kitchen towel, and I started adding some correct shapes on and around the bowl. I am looking forward to the eggs. . . well, I’m looking forward to finishing this one. It’s the most complex still life I have painted in some time, and the longer it takes the less enthusiasm I tend to have. We have had a long string of sunny days which I am very thankful for. I will paint, again, today, and will soon post more updated photographs. Thank you for looking.

In the Kitchen I

It’s been set up for about 2 weeks, now, but because of many circumstances falling under the categories of “Life” and “Priorities”, today was the first day of real and profitable painting. After a run to the grocery store to get the most old fashioned bag of flour I could find, some apples, and very expensive brown eggs, I set up the still life attempting to mimic the look of a real kitchen counter.
Feel very special, for I usually don’t like to show the set up, but I thought it would be fun this time. One thing I would like you to keep in mind as you view the setup and undoubtedly compare it with the painting, (it’s hard to fight that urge myself) remember that I am painting, not taking a photograph. I am allowed to make changes in value, temperature and edges. If we weren’t then all paintings any artist painted would be the same in style, and they might as well be photographs. So, as a painter, I simplify color changes, edges and subjects,. .etc. to make the painting the best it can be, my goal is not to record everything that is there. With that said, proceed and enjoy.

My most daunting task was to simulate the backsplash to create a little more authenticity. Here you can see the cover to our radiator turned upside down with a piece of cardboard (the backing to one of my old sketchpads) propped up to look like the back wall. You can’t see it, but there is a hole in the flour bag (of course I didn’t notice until I came home with it). The old Betty Crocker Cookbook was my Mamaw’s, and the kitchen towel, bowl, measuring cups and spoons were all wedding gifts. Notice the lovely Dell box underneath the “kitchen counter”. Only the best in my studio.

In the time between my first and second painting sessions, some of the props such as the measuring cups and spoons were temporarily taken from the setup because they were needed in the real kitchen so we could eat.

My first painting session yielded only incorrectly sketched items. So after a faulty beginning I studied the still life as I passed by the room on my way to something more urgent and envisioned the painting completed in my mind as I worked on other things. (Pretty cool – I can do art while I vacuum.) I could see the style I was going for. Loose, simple, effective, yet warm, reflecting the enjoyment I find in cooking. For some reason I could see the apples completed in my mind the clearest, so the decision was made that the apples would be my point of origin, and if done correctly, they would set the tone for the rest of the painting.

I am pleased with today’s progress, and am able to envision more of the painting completed. The sun was going down, so my opportunity for a good photograph was gone before I realized it. This explains the low color quality. The photograph is a little skewed because the wet paint would have created lots of glare if it were taken straight on.

Better and more complete pictures coming soon. If the sun chooses to shine tomorrow I will be painting, again. Keep checking.