Friday, March 23, 2012

"Apilco No.8": A Beautifully Broken Painting

Apilco No.8-Broken copy

If you have followed the progression of my "Apilco Series," you may have noticed I favored one particular model (like any good artist should!).  It was my beloved Apilco Hot Chocolate Pot, that I scored for an incredible price when I worked at Williams-Sonoma.  I never used it, and I don't know how it was supposed to work, but I loved looking at that strange, superfluous piece of pottery.  

After finishing one of my paintings, I left it in a precarious set-up I had used to compose my still life. Somebody (and the verdict is still out) bumped into it and sent it crashing to the floor, shattering into countless, un-fixable pieces.

Once I overcame my anger, I tenderly collected all the pieces, put them in a bag, and left them sitting with my other pieces of pottery.  I looked online, but could not find a replacement anywhere. There was no way I was throwing it away!

So there it sat, until I needed to compose a new painting.  Having recently gone through a great ordeal with back pain, I suddenly identified quite strongly with my little Hot Chocolate Pot.  It was still beautiful, even though it was broken, and I could give it a whole new life in a painting.

I picked out a bold fabric backdrop, arranged my composition and started the layout for the painting:

"Apilco No. 8"- first layer

I carefully mixed my paints in the proper hues and tones, and began to lovingly paint the first layers of color:

"Apilco No. 8"- second layer

I loved the way the pattern seemed to breathe out of the spout of the pot, but the colors of  the background were too flat, so they had to be reworked.  This piece is all about the pottery shards, and I knew I needed to sharpen their edges and add more definition:

"Apilco No. 8"- third layer

I really liked how the green was a bit transparent, letting the original pattern placement peek through, so I chose to leave it.  Once I had the new placement for the patterned completed, I added more definition to the pottery, changing the colors of the light and shadows a bit:

"Apilco No. 8"- fourth layer

With all of my paintings, I know I have to stop when I feel a piece begins to appear "overworked."  Once I have fully poured out the emotion that I want to experience when creating a piece, it is time to add my signature, and find a place for it to rest so I can view it for awhile:

"Apilco No. 8" oil on canvas panel

"Apilco No.8"- oil on canvas panel

I have since let go of my precious Hot Chocolate Pot.  My memories of it will now remain in my painting.  I am not angry about it's loss, but so happy that I found a way to breathe new life into something that was broken...beautifully broken.


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