Saturday, December 27, 2008


Some paintings are (relatively) easy and some are definitely not. This one was firmly the latter. It's ironic to me how the finished painting (seen here) looks like it was done in a carefree, easy, quick manner, rather than via sweat and cursing.

But the problems started even before the paints came out. First we had to email our housesit hosts about whether they had a juicer, because there were two oranges in the kitchen (one not so orange-colored...see my painting a few days back) that felt heavy, a.k.a. juicy, and we wanted some fresh juice. After a spousal argument over whether the oranges looked moldy or not, we were instructed by the email response as to where to find said juicer(s). One was electric and looked frighteningly complicated, and the other was a little white plastic thing that you suppposedly put a little fruit wedge into and then folded it in half with some pressure. I'm guessing it was really for lemons, since your hand would get pretty tired making glasses of juice that way. The Husband tried it, and appeared to break the thing on the very first attempt. Fortunately, however, it was just a cheap thing and a little knob had come out which fit right back in. However, The Husband was giving up on the juicer.

I took a wedge, figuring we'd just have to eat the oranges instead of drinking them. I took a bite of the gloriously orange-colored fruit, and found it too sour to enjoy. However, it was so gorgeous that I took another wedge plus a half-orange to paint. Off I went to our hosts' open-air art studio.

Two-thirds of the way into the painting I started disliking the composition, which involved the single wedge the way you see it posted here plus the half-orange next to and slightly behind it. Four-fifths of the way through the painting, I was hating the composition so much, I decided to remove the half-orange altogether, leaving a lonely single orange wedge which was, however, strongly painted enough to stand alone.

Got rid of the half-orange (and got very messy hands getting rid of it in its painted incarnation), redid the shadow, and then spent a long time trying to recover the freshness of it, having gone too far at one point overworking it.


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Anonymous said...

Jala- what an exquisite slice of color and subject.
Beautifully done and so simple ( looking ).

I really like the way you use color.

Jala Pfaff said...

Thanks so much, Bonnie! I was very pleased that in the end, after so much struggle, the painting came out well. I'm also glad to have found the courage to paint out the orange half that wasn't working (though it took me a long time--most of the painting time--to get up said courage). :)

Loriann Signori said...

Absolutely beautiful color! Masterful.

MacElf said...

Very nice - and, I love the consistent designation you've given to Sanjay throughout.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I love how the orange wedge 'pops' against the neutral background. And how the story is almost like a short story!

This is how a painting is supposed to be - deceptive - looks easy.... took sweat (and cursing) to create it!