Davenport Jug and Shallots
This larger painting harks back to Peaches and Small Jug. We do in fact have two of these jugs, one small and this one that stands 15 cm (6”) high. As it is larger, there is more detail giving it a slightly different character. My preference is to paint things in still lives larger than life, I don’t know if this reminds me of seeing the world newly as a young child when most things were larger or at least many things seem smaller as one reflects on them as an adult. Whatever the reason, I like this apparent magnification and here, on the lovely handmade bricks and with an orderly arrangement of shallots, the jug is carved out of the dark background but also melts into it where it is in shadow. This is a simple composition with few things and it is here that I often find a magic that gives arrangements a particular vibrancy and balance. There is no formula and it takes a bit of patience arranging and rearranging, changing lighting, going away and returning with a fresh eye, until I get almost too exasperated and just have to begin. Or at least make the initial graphite drawing to check the underlying structure has unity and impact.
Oil on panel 2020 59 x 67cm 23 x 26in
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