Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sugar and Spice

Chocolate Praline Cheesecake (sold) 5" x 7" oil on linen archival board

Gingerbread Angel Spice Cake (100.00 plus shipping) 5" x 7" oil on linen archival board

It is beginning to feel very much like the holidays, we have cake. These are from yesterday's work. Some chocolate dripping and an angel I think about to go singing. Both a romp with form. Delicious buttery oils. Each distinctively different in feel.

Someone emailed me over the weekend asking if I really did a painting a day. He was having some problems finishing pieces at that rate. Lots of sketches, but not so many paintings. Finishing them and staying inspired was his concern. I said yes, these small pieces are done in a day, sometimes I do more than one piece depending on what's going on. But that's the scale and the scope of this particular series. They are a la prima pieces intended to be quickly complete, whole , not extensively studied. The time frame is part of the design.

Working like that demands the impact of the piece be known in the first 30 seconds, maybe a minute. Just like quick gesture drawing of nudes. Those first moments with the pose or the subject, determine the impact, the attitude of the entire whole of the pose, or the piece. You nail it right then before making a single mark. Read that again. The entire outcome is decided in 30 seconds, maybe a minute. That essence.

On a nude it is the shape of the spine, the line it makes, everything leads from that. On a simple cake (some not so simple) it is the attitude or an idea, a summary. In these two pieces one is more like Puccini's Tosca, dramatic, the other is barely there, more like a whisper or a promise of a song to come, softer like Debussy. One commands the space, dares you, one invites you in to dream, hides the spice beneath the calm. Those ideas are in each color decision, each stroke of the brush. Sometimes it is the absolute presence of color, sometimes it is the restraint and what you do NOT paint. Believe me, choosing not to paint something, retraining is as much a part of the process as the painting. Sometimes even more important.

I chose these two to kick off our foray into the series this time to show you: Same amount of time, same basic shape, worlds of difference. Equally very much themselves. Their essence. Sugar and spice. Looking. More importantly, SEEING is as important as using your brush.

( Don't forget, you can email me a selection from the archives if you've something particular you'd like to have.) today? Yep. Raspberries. Our favorite.


ParisBreakfasts said...

O M G !!!!!
Though I would have had trouble not eating the gingerbread person off the top of that yummy little gateau..
No restraint :(
I don't know how yo do it!?

Janice C. Cartier said...

LOL They're in the fridge. Some how the painting of them is more satisfying..however....that gingerbread is sinfully delicious smelling.. I am weakening as we speak...

Words For Hire said...

Janice, these are yummy! It's amazing how your brush captured the essence of the two pieces. The chocolate praline cheesecake, rich and sinful and the Gingerbread Angel Food lighter with a hint of spice. I never fail to be blown away by your talent with the brush and pen.

Janice C. Cartier said...

That little gingerbread angel is taunting me from the fridge... and now the raspberries and joinin' in...ahh...
LOL Thanks Karen. More to come.

A Brush with Color said...

I'm laughing at these comments above. Gingerbread does smell so enticing, doesn't it? Especially this time of year. It's just not fair. Those paintings look like you could put a finger to them and lick them right off the screen here. Yum. See? I'm gone for a while and you bring all the desserts out. It figures.

Janice C. Cartier said...

Thanks. Missed you. More cakes coming...They're a noisy lot. LOVE gingerbread.