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About The Painting
I’ve had this big white ceramic pot in my studio waiting to be painted for about two years now. I like painting white surfaces from time to time as it allows me to study the very subtle color and temperature changes within what we perceive to be “white”. I set up this arrangement on a piece of white foam core, and the wall behind is off white and in shadow. It is interesting to see what kinds of colors are reflected in the different white surfaces.

It’s fascinating to me that one can make forms turn and recede in space, or even balance a composition, simply by adjusting the color a little. If you look closely at the pot, you can see there is not much variation in light and dark at all, but because I have put yellow and violet next to each other, the pot feels like it’s round. The warm yellow appears to come forward, and the cooler violet seems to recede in space. Consequently, the roundness of form is achieved without having to render with shading or shadows, which would be the traditional solution. Honing my skills and accuracy in reading color this way is one of the things I had hoped to achieve during this project.

I’m very pleased with the composition of this piece. It’s not easy to cut a shape (the pot) in half with the edge of the canvas and have it not seem awkward. I’ve succeeded because the emphasis is on the blue design and it’s connection with the holly leaf on the ground. They draw our eyes to the elephant in between, and away from the edge of the canvas.