I always try to avoid getting caught in the reflections in the subjects in my paintings, but sometimes I wind up painting a little self portrait hidden in the still life. I tried to capture the look of shock and awe in my features, of the dawning realization of the fleeting transience of life, possibly a rich and pensive look, complete with furrowed brow looking to the bleak future on the far horizon. I'm not sure if I captured any of that.
Three cherries can coexist peacefully, despite the gesture of their stems reflecting a difference of opinion and core beliefs. We can learn so much from these cherries, if we can only open our hearts and our minds.
For the first time in my entire career as an artist and even as a human being, I sliced an apple in half, and painted the offending knife sitting idly by at the scene of the crime. While the apple immediately turned yellow and challenged my abilities to find the right color for freshly revealed innards, the knife provided an excellent opportunity to study reflections.
I haven't completely run out of ideas, but after finishing a very small commission of a bouquet of tulips, I wondered if I could fit three apples onto one of these very small panels. Without using extra tiny brushes, I believe I was able to capture a decent sense of depth and presence.
As the days get shorter and darker, I struggle to find any color in the world around me. Everything is dull and muted, and the reflections of secondary light sources become even stronger. In a critique of another artist's work, Van Gogh described how the artist didn't have strong light, and without strong light, one cannot make a strong painting. Yes, Vincent, you were right.
Sometimes I just feel like having a piece of brie cheese on a crispy white cracker, and then other times I feel like actually doing a painting of a piece of brie cheese on a crispy white cracker, and then eating it. Today was one of those days.
While struggling with the red habañero pepper, I decided to decide if the color was the challenge, or the qualities of gloss and luminosity. It seems as though my ability to decipher nuances of color is stronger in certain ranges than in others, and yellow seems to lend itself to being understood a little more easily. Of course it might also be more forgiving, being that it's so pale and full of lightness on its own.
It's odd how challenging this little subject can be. Such clean and simple lines, a high sheen, and a high level of translucence and reflection of secondary light sources. This is all just enough to have me totally stumped, and just trying to bluff my way through it.
I like to explore the sculptural qualities of a slice of cantaloupe, although for the first time I believe I started capturing qualities of translucence as the dark side seemed to glow with light and reflection.
Few things get me through these dark days of early winter like a smooth dark shot of espresso. I keep returning to this subject, and I'm always intrigued by the depth of the porcelain finish. It has a luminosity that feels almost like marble, but on a much smaller scale. Always a challenge.
Last summer I tried to execute a larger study of a simple egg. For some reason I believed I was failing terribly, and I scraped it out and moved on to something else. A few weeks later I saw a photo that was shot with the beginning of the painting in the background, blocked in with patches of paint. There are times when it might be good to take a second look before I declare defeat. As always, the simple egg stands up well as a very small study.
I'd always avoided painting the Asian pear, only because of the lack of a defining shine. I've explored every version of secondary light sources, reflections from underneath, compounded reflections of adjacent surfaces, and on and on, yet nothing prepared me for the smooth flat finish of this new subject. I learned some good things.
From December 1st to the 25th, each day I will be making available one very small framed 5 inch by 7 inch painting, for a special promotional discount price of $240, just in time for the perfect holiday gift. As though that weren’t enough of a holiday miracle, included with each painting will be a gift certificate for $240, good toward the purchase of any piece from my current and upcoming available inventory, valid from the day you receive your very small painting until December 31st of 2015. As many certificates as you collect can be combined together for any purchase, although these cannot be used in combination with any other offer or promotion. Buy all 25 paintings and get the giant painting you’ve always wanted to hang above your couch…for free! On December 26th I might wake up and wonder what I was thinking, but in the meantime, I’ll be having fun playing Santa Claude Monet for the 25 Days of Christmas, or the Eight Days of Hanukkah and the mystic prime number of 17 days following the Festival of Lights. The paintings will be listed each day on the Very Small Paintings page, as well as on the Paintings of David Oleski Facebook Page, to be sold through the modern miracle of Ebay.