new still-life underway

Working backwards from how things look at the end of the third day at the easel. One more session should see the hellebore added and the painting completed.

Lots to think about with this one. The original drawing was swift and sure and the paint is going down fast. I need to get in the detail without destroying the strong architecture.

I changed the bold black on white design of my Scottie Wilson jug because as soon as I’d painted in the shadow to the right of each object, I realised I didn’t want anything else in the composition to be that dark. The sea is relatively simple with a fresh feel to the wet-on-wet mark-making. I must add the planned hellebores without obscuring too much of what’s already looking good. The whole thing is a juggling-act. Let’s hope I don’t drop any balls.

John Maltby and Scottie Wilson


Two recurring pieces in my still-life paintings are the John Maltby pelican with pendant fish on its outstretched wings, and a milk-jug by the outsider artist, Scottie Wilson. (I have the coffee-pot and sugar-bowl too, though I’ve only painted those a couple of times.)

Today I started a new work at the easel in which both appear, together with a cowrie-shell and a bunch of hellebores for the jug. (I shan’t cut and bring the flowers to the studio until I’ve laid in the background paint over which they’ll be added. Beth Adams at Phoenicia Publishing particularly requested the hellebores, of which many varieties grow here at Ty Isaf.)

Pencil on gessoed panel

Here are some past paintings in which the Maltby pelican and the Wilson milk-jug have appeared, occasionally together. For me they are like characters in an ever unfolding drama, and I never tire of painting them.