Friday, October 24, 2008

Virtual Sketch Date: Pears

Sometimes I like to try online challenges as a way to stop procrastinating and get back into the habit of going to work in my little upstairs studio. I stumbled across "Virtual Sketch Date" this week, and liked the reference photo very much. I saw some people's responses to this challenge on Flickr, and decided to give it a try. This response began as a sketch, which I put under a piece of clear acrylic which had been coated with a monotype base. Then I painted over that, and made a hand print. Then I went a step further and added color and detail with colored pencil.

Here's the sketch, original reference photo, and completed monotype. It works nicely for me to keep my eraser, shrpener and pencils together in a foam meat tray. I like to work on my cutting mat, because the surface is softer than the table alone, and because it's plastic it's easy to clean.

Here is another response to the same challenge. This one was done in my Moleskine journal, and was an experiment in mixing media. I copied out a Hilda Doolittle poem, Sheltered Garden, in my journal, then covered the writing in thinned down gesso. I used my pear sketch to guide me in painting the pears in acrylic paint, some of which I wiped away before it dried. I then used a black Micron pen to add dark lines, and added some highlights and background color in pastel. It was labor intensive, but interesting.

Sheltered Garden by Hilda Doolittle

I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.

Every way ends, every road,

every foot-path leads at last
to the hill-crest --
then you retrace your steps,
or find the same slope on the other side,

I have had enough --

border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies,
herbs, sweet-cress.

O for some sharp swish of a branch --

there is no scent of resin
in this place,
no taste of bark, of coarse weeds,
aromatic, astringent --
only border on border of scented pinks.

Have you seen fruit under cover

that wanted light --
pears wadded in cloth,
protected from the frost,
melons, almost ripe,
smothered in straw?

Why not let the pears cling

to the empty branch?
All your coaxing will only make
a bitter fruit --
let them cling, ripen of themselves,
test their own worth,
nipped, shrivelled by the frost,
to fall at last but fair
with a russet coat.

Or the melon --

let it bleach yellow
in the winter light,
even tart to the taste --
it is better to taste of frost --
the exquisite frost --
than of wadding and of dead grass.

For this beauty,

beauty without strength,
chokes out life.
I want wind to break,
scatter these pink-stalks,
snap off their spiced heads,
fling them about with dead leaves --
spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off,
trail great pine branches,
hurled from some far wood
right across the melon-patch,
break pear and quince --
leave half-trees, torn, twisted
but showing the fight was valiant.

O to blot out this garden

to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible
wind-tortured place.


JoAnn said...

Loved your pears, Sherry....especially the ones with the light purplish background. Great job!

leslie said...

The first is Cezanne, the second is Mary Cassatt.
Both are gorgeous.

Shirley said...

Wow! You really took this image and did an amazing amount! I like them all, especially the pears with the purple background.

Stacy said...

Two entries and both so different! I like how you pushed the darks in the first one and I love the gold and purple combo in the second. Thank you for telling us your process for both. I love hearing how people approached the challenge.

Andy said...

Hi Sherry, although I do really like your painting I think the concept of the second one is just brilliant - the poem in the back ground is such a good idea. Well done.

shicat said...

Both of your paintings are wonderful, I'm thinking Cezanne or VanGough on the first great dramtic colors. The second entry is wonderful,as well, mixed media i've always wanted to give it a try.

kay susan said...

I like both versions. Thank you for sharing the processes you used. I have to say, about the only think I don't use my cutting mat for is rolling out pastry!

Sharon said...

Oh, these are both wonderful Sherry. I can't decide which one I like best, perhaps the mixed media.I'm always intrigued by illegible text in a painting/collage.

Quilt Knit said...

This is such a nice surprise! Love your treatments. I love both treatments and combining with a poem. I need to do some stretching.
Oh, yes, when I first tried to get to your blog- the Blogger Bug jumped up and stated - conflict publishing error, if it continues report to blogger. I reported to blogger and reopened. I got to your blog.


"JeanneG" said...

The first is very dramatic with that dark background. My favorite is the one in the Moleskine.

SYLVIANE said...

your pears really are characters!