Striped Bowls, Tilted Ground

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Striped Bowls, Tilted Ground

Original Painting by Erin Lee Gafill
16″ x 20″ – Oil on Canvas

We arrived at Heathrow, took the Tube to Kaffe’s house, climbed four flights of stairs to drop our luggage off in our attic room, and dashed back down into the painting studio to get started.

Kaffe had already set up this tableau – as if to say “welcome to the circus!”  Paints – brushes – solvents – we had everything we needed except a palette.   I decided to make do with a scrap of cardboard leaning against the studio wall.

It was not wise.

”Begin as you wish to end,” Kaffe said quietly, adding wryly, “as one of my teachers used to say.”
But I was SO eager and couldn’t wait another moment. He knew it, and I knew it, and he knew I’d pay the price, and I did.

Suffice to say, the oil was sucked away by the cardboard, the pigment dragged, and I fought the palette the entire painting, even as I was trying to get into a groove while navigating the challenge of drawing, creating the illusion of  three dimensionality, and layering pattern on pattern.
“Begin as you wish to end” kept echoing in my head as I battled on.
By the time I finished I’d finally “landed”, and took my time to set up a proper palette for my next painting – cup of tea at hand, deep breaths.

 

 

These paintings were created during a twelve-year collaboration between me and my uncle Kaffe Fassett. Most of them were included in the museum exhibition – Color Duets – Kaffe Fassett | Erin Lee Gafill at the Monterey Museum of Art during the summer of 2021. They are also featured in my coffee table book, Color Duets, available through this website.

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