Painting today, still lifes in oil from a grouping of ginger jars, fruit, and flowers I set up on my piano a few days ago . . . I think of Bruce Weber’s suggestion that I paint my life. I think about the strength of this advice being that it connects you artistically with the core of your being. That when you paint the things and the contexts of your daily existence, or photograph or write about those things, the images you create are more likely to be infused with emotion and connection.
Looking at the still lifes that are evolving today I am struck with how familiar they seem. Of course, these are all things I look at all the time – they are my things, my grandmother’s things, things people have given me, things from the kitchen (apples, tangerines) and from the curio cupboard. But the way they are all living together, as they do in my real life, is what is striking to me, and enjoyable. Flowers in vase, a shawl thrown over the back of the chair of draped on the piano – the black and white photo of my great great grandmother, the little candy dish in teal green: these are all lifted from my morning straightening-the-house rituals, and my evening sprucing.
It is 5:20. I’m 6 hours into painting and it’s really time to clean my brushes and set aside the work in progress. So I sit and look, wondering where it will go tomorrow.