Friday, May 25, 2012

Jam in a Jam

More and more jam jars are filling my wee studio space. I'm taking a breather to write a blog update, and soak up the visuals around me. I realized today that if I'm to stick to my once a week blogging rule, today is the last day to squeeze in a post. That's okay, I needed to distance myself from my easel for a bit to look at some black and white, and let my eyes adjust back to the reality that neon is VERY BRIGHT.

Glow, 20 x 20", oil on wood panel
So the Beaches Arts and Crafts Show is coming up in just 2 weeks, and I'm in major production mode. Just finished this new piece, 'Glow', which plays with the neon pink under-painting in a new way. Previously, I let little bits of the neon pop through the painting. But in 'Glow', transparency is used to give the illusion that light is pouring through this strawberry jam, and it's truly glowing. The light effect was painted in thick impasto oil in the others. I'm pleased with the effect.

Been thinking quite a bit about why I'm painting these beautiful gem toned confections, how they fit into the themes I have always played with. I've been thinking of broadening the images to beautifully wrapped gift boxes with cellophane and tin foil reflections. What is this all about? Well, not only do I love the technical challenge, the beautiful colours and shapes, and the magic of making these things look like you can reach out and touch them, I also relate the subject to the human condition. I know, I know! I just can't shake it...

With these jars, there's the allure of the shiny glass holding something you know is sweet, and is tantalizing to the eye due to depth and saturation of colour. We are ready to submit, though we don't yet know what to expect of the product within. It's the old judging the book by it's cover thing. And because it's a visual, and it's not a real pot of home made jam before your eyes, it's everything it needs to be. Like a good book. The cover has an engaging photo, the words carry you away to another world, and then just as you are transported to a literary abandoned beach with a tree full of plump ripe mangoes with a perfect companion, some kind of conflict or climax makes you go deeper. You're not just on that beach alone together, you're there with your history, your baggage, your projections and your fears. We don't get to open the jar, but are left in that place where we are imagining it and wanting it. So, it's still yummy.

I hope that those of you in Toronto will make it out to the show. Check out my website for details on where to find me: http://www.juliehimel.com

In the mean time, have a great weekend!
J

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