Ancient Memories

Taking the shadow color from the distant tablecloth I block in the one in the foreground. A little of the chair color is added into the mix for the far edge of the cloth, making it drop back. The  front of the cloth is painted a bit lighter. This “Lifts” the closest edge of the tabletop so it appears flat. The wine in the glasses is a transparent wash of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.

This is the part of the painting I approach with total fear and trepidation. Making the wine glasses the same. It’s easy to paint one glass of wine, it’s getting the second one to match that’s the toughy!

WHEW! I can wipe the sweat from my brow, the glasses are done. Now it’s on to the grapes. Taking a little of the green paint that was saved, I add a bit of  Hansa Lemon Yellow + White and we’re in business. The darkest greens are blocked in first, followed by the highlights.

The fruit and cheese plate is ready to eat, let’s get to the Wine. The bottle is first washed in with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin in the lower part. The rest of the wine bottle is painted with a warm green mixed from Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. I work with thin washes to order to achieve the feel of the thick, green glass.

Ancient Memories    32″ x 46″    Original Oil Painting

Now the painting is finished let me point out a basic concept I’ve employed: the Threshold. Think of a standing outside on a dark night, looking at a well-lit home with an open door. Your eye is drawn from the darkness, across the threshold of the doorway into the light inside. We use this theory in painting. Notice the shadow across the street in the foreground. The front table and chairs are also in the shade. These make the dark “threshold”. The viewer’s gaze is drawn over the dark shadow to the light running across the cobblestones, jumps to the bright peach tablecloth on the second table, landing on the sunny white and blue portion of the building. The dark upright of the window on the right edge of the canvas throws your eye back into the painting where it is pulled into the distance by the warm sunlight on the hillside, then finally settles on the Library of Cestus. The building in shadow on the left also directs your gaze back into the painting and its coolness accentuates the warmth of the hillside. As Jack would say, “That’s your little lesson for today!”

Ancient Memories will have to dry a few days before we can ship it to our collector. It has been a treat to collaborate on a piece that will bring special remembrances of their trip to Turkey. This has been a lot of fun and I appreciate all of you following along. Visit the studio often, I’ll be painting more. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


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