My cup runneth over

My cup runneth over

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (Psalm 23:5)

The real story is much simpler. I wanted to paint white porcelain. I combed through my local thrift stores (with my husband waiting patiently on sidewalks outside) and found cups that I liked. I wanted 3 cups to make a stack. The proprietor  listened indulgently to my story of still life painting, but still didn’t want to sell me 3. This was a set of 8 cups and 8 saucers, and he wasn’t going to split them. But the price he gave was so delightful that I shut up and took them all. Now I am a proud owner of 16 pieces of translucent and delicate Japanese porcelain that I don’t have room to store and don’t know what to do with. I painted these 3 cups. I use saucers to feed the cat. Now what?…

Painting porcelain was not trivial. I did not achieve the results I envisioned. This is done using extended Alla Prima method, and the cups’ translucency eluded me. I think I need to use Dutch or Flemish glazing technique to get that. That is once I figure out how to do that.

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel. To buy this painting click here.


11 thoughts on “My cup runneth over

  1. Alex, when you want to learn something, you really learn it and learn it spectacularly. I can FEEL how delicate these porcelain cups are. I know you feel that you didn’t achieve the results you envisioned, but for me, I think this is wonderful.

    • Thank you, Carol! I think I got the light right. It is the texture that I am unhappy about. Is any artist ever completely happy about the final result… With exception of Kinkade, probably not :).

  2. These are very beautiful. You have a wonderful outlook about still life; creating the image you want and going in search of the props to follow through.
    I feel for you with this dilemna of not enough space to store all that you collect for your still life projects. Too bad you couldn’t get something going with an art group where part of their space is devoted to storing different still life objects where you could trade out different objects with others, like a co-op.
    Beautiful cups. These look very much like what my Mother had.

    • I don’t always go about my subjects this way, Leslie. Yes, sometimes I get an idea first and then go about implementing it. Other times I spot an interesting object and then experiment with a composition around it. Sometimes during this experimentation the original object gets edited out altogether :D! I did read on one of the art blogs I visit that sometimes artists borrow objects where they can for their compositions. It is a neat idea to start a group, I will think about it. Thank you for this thought and for the comment!

    • At first I thought you could. But when I tried to use them for my tea I realized that these are too shallow and small to drink tea the way I, and probably you, do. These require tea to be taken sitting down at the table and making a fuss about it. Not having a mug of tea alongside with you as you are moving around doing other things. They also very good as still life props :). I will be painting them again.

  3. Alex, your work continues to astound me each week. It isn’t enough that you are a wonderful portrait artist in both graphite and watercolour but you are an expert also with oil and still life! I realise my ignorance unfortunately a lot when you describe techniques and I don’t know what they are or how you achieve them!
    btw thank you for looking at my sketchbook when it was in Chicago – it means a lot that you looked it out!

    • Oh, Nicola, don’t let my descriptions confuse you. I am reading a lot of theory of oil painting and am trying the new for me terminology in a sentence. The bottom line is still the same: you take paint with a brush and put it on your canvas while attempting, with various degrees of success, to put the right color in the right spot :). But I am glad you liked the painting!

      I loved your book! See the latest post about the Sketchbook Project…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s