Your Cup of Tea
This week’s painting is one of those that doesn’t have a specific story behind it. Instead, I was aiming for a dramatic mood, along with the solid reassurance that a good cup of tea can bring at just the right moment.
Even when there’s not a specific plot, I still think of the objects in my paintings as actors on a stage. If you’ve ever seen a photograph of a play in progress, you know that even a still image can strongly convey a sense of the drama. That is how I think of my paintings; snapshots of a bigger drama in progress all around us.
The Technical Side
“Your Cup of Tea” was done entirely from life (without use of photography). It is painted with oil on linen, which is mounted to a hardboard panel. The dimensions are 14×11 inches (35×27 cm). I worked with a straight-forward grisaille (black and white) underpainting. This was followed by a mixture of opaque paints and glazes on top of the underpainting.
Most still life paintings have a strong horizontal arrangement. That makes sense because the artist is generally arranging things on a table, a shelf in the studio, etc. This leads to paintings with a settled feeling, a strong sense of classical balance and order, and so forth. All good things.
Lately, though, I’ve been wanting to arrange paintings vertically. This gives the opportunity for more compact and powerful compositions. It also gives the design an energy that horizontal arrangements can often lack.
With this painting, I found the bricks to be the perfect instrument to let the composition rise up off the ground, so to speak. They also have an earthy, solid texture that is a delight to paint.
As I worked on this piece, I had the opportunity to write a blog post with some tips on how I approach painting metal. I also wrote a post about my philosophy of cultivating the habit of beauty, and keeping the work beautiful at every stage in the process. You can read that post here.
If you’re interested in adding “Your Cup of Tea” to your collection, send me a message using the “Connect with Me” section on the sidebar to the right. Please bookmark my blog and watch for posts about this coming week’s painting.