(detail) Horseshoe Crabs on Sill, oil on panel, 8" x 12"
I have several figurative paintings going on at the moment, all at different stages - but it has been too hard a shift for me to jump right back into these big painting projects after "coming down" from my Southern Weeds exhibition. I needed something to clear my head and to be able to paint directly from observation. Walking around my house searching for something interesting to set up for a small still life painting, I found a few dried horseshoe crabs that my nephews had sent me from Florida. They know how much I enjoy nature and they had saved these little gifts from the sea for their crazy Auntie. I had thought that this was going to be a quick painting that would sort of cleanse my palette, so I could get back to my more serious works. Instead this little still life became a bit of a frustration and struggle. I will share with you the progress of this little failure. I should say that though I view this painting as less than successful, I am grateful for the lessons learned for having gone through the process.
Horseshoe Crabs on Sill, oil on panel, 8" x 12"
In the end, I took a drastic measure - I broke out the table saw and cut her up! Its sort of scary how empowering the hum of a power tool is. Really, I know this is a cheap way of trying to solve some of the problems I set up for myself. In the end though, I do believe it is a better composition. And from the struggles of working this one out, I have learned much about working with nature and its fleeting light, and taking the time to plan in the beginning. Without having to fight yourself and the problems you create early on, you can more easily get to the joy of painting.