Monday, April 30, 2012

Strawberries forever

Strawberries, 10"x10" (25.4 x 25.4 cm), oil on linen. 2011
As a rule, I don't release paintings for sale before they are fully dry and cured, which, for oil paintings, may take anywhere from six months to a full year.  Over the same time, the paintings go through several rounds of "internal reviews" – as they evolve, in my mind, from immediate impressions to memories, and I can look at them "from the outside" and see if the paintings work. The painting's process of curing and my process of gradual detachment and evaluation feel to me like almost the same process, two banks of the same river.

Since so many of my paintings derive from seasonal impressions, they may seem out of tune with the time when released. Like this one, for example, painted during the last year's strawberry season and released now, as we are still waiting for the next one. But then, the expectation of a strawberry season, intermixed and enriched with memories of all the previous ones, might be a better time for a painting like this.

After all, although this still life has been painted from life, with real strawberries overflowing both the bowl and the canvas in direct summer sunlight, it also carries the childhood memories, when strawberry seasons marked the beginnings of eternal summers ahead (aren't the summers always eternal when we are children?), and strawberries tasted and smelled of sunshine and infinite vacation.
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