"Two Chestnuts"

This week’s featured painting is “Two Chestnuts” from 2012.  It is done with oil on panel, and measures 4 x 4 inches.

As far as I can remember, I’ve only had roasted chestnuts once.

And  in about the most poetic setting possible.

A grey, damp November afternoon in Paris, walking as fast as I could from Ste. Chapelle to Notre Dame (the cold mist made a leisurely stroll unthinkable), stopping by a sidewalk vendor roasting chestnuts in a small cart.

And asking myself “why not?”


At that point, anything toasted and warm would have been satisfying.

But these were an absolute delight – soft, buttery, almost melting.

The whole bag was gone before I arrived at my destination.  There probably should’ve been two bags…

Sometimes I wish those small chestnut roasting carts were more a part of our lives here.


On a more elevated note, here is a beautiful quote from Thoreau, which somehow resonates with my feelings about making still life paintings:

“I find my account in this long-continued monotonous labor of picking chestnuts all the afternoon, brushing the leaves aside without looking up, absorbed in that, and forgetting better things awhile.

My eye is educated to discover anything on the ground, as chestnuts, etc.

It is probably wholesomer to look at the ground much than at the heavens.

As I go stooping and brushing the leaves aside by the hour, I am not thinking of chestnuts merely, but I find myself humming a thought of more significance.

This occupation affords a certain broad pause and opportunity to start again afterward, – turn over a new leaf.”

-Henry David Thoreau, The Journals.



Canvas prints of this painting are available.  To see more, click the blue button below.