This is the completed version of my earlier painting #53. This is one of the few paintings that I finished without feeling the start was better than the finished painting.
In the light areas on the onions, I tried to limit myself to only 10 brush strokes, each one hand picked and placed without any editing after it went down. This meant I had to really focus on mixing the right colour first time.
The background was also somewhat of a breakthrough to me – normally I put down a really boring one tone background – the colour of which I sort of pick randomly. With this painting I used the colours I already had on my palette and just tried to compliment the focal point. It is not perfect, I know, but I am happy with it for now.
About backgrounds, Robert Henri said:
A weak background is a deadly thing… Many a background has been spoiled simply because the artist has tried to cover it with an insufficient amount of paint; because it was a trouble to paint it all over, because his brush strokes were too much in evidence, because he thought too little of it and did not realize the function it had to perform.
The commonest fault is that he determines its color, its value, and its content by looking at it and does not realize its marvelous power of change, and that it is wholly a matter of relation.
Henri, Robert. The Art Spirit (pp. 41-42). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.
I was thinking of a poem about backgrounds – the background of the days of our life perhaps, the background of decisions we make, fears we have. I could not come up with any poem, but I was reminded of meditation teachings that point to the background awareness – always present – which form the unnoticed background holding and giving life to each act, each thought, each deed.
The practice of true reality is simply to sit serenely in silent introspection. When you have fathomed this you cannot be turned around by external causes and conditions. This empty, wide open mind is subtly and correctly illuminating. Spacious and content, without confusion from inner thoughts of grasping, effectively overcome habitual behavior and realize the self that is not possessed by emotions.
Leighton, Taigen Dan; Wu, Yi. Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi.
I hope you have a great weekend. A sincere thanks to all who have commented on my recent posts, and for those who encourage me with likes and who follow my blog.