When I decided to start a still life series, I decided to use my own vegetables. Veggie Surprise was born out of a need to study the shape of vegetables, light and shadow, and of course composition. But then I decided I wanted to do a painting of tomatoes.
According to the dictionary, Impressionism is “the depiction (as in literature) of scene, emotion, or character by details intended to achieve a vividness or effectiveness more by evoking subjective and sensory impressions than by recreating an objective reality”. And in a way, I believe I fit into this movement. I won’t I say I make it the focus of the day or my mission in life. It’s just a style that I identify with, naturally.
So when I decided, “Hey, let’s do a painting of tomatoes,” I was not planning a specific style or approach to follow. All I wanted was to paint the juice of a tomato spread out on a white table. You know, the original tomato sauce!
I did a few searches online to find some free images (yes I only use free images), but I couldn’t find what I wanted. Then Cassarica Nadas came to the rescue. She smashed a few poor tomatoes (who did nothing wrong I’m sure) and then did some styled shots for me (she is a badass foodie). We got some awesome close-ups and I did a quick composition of what I wanted for this huge canvas (60.5cm x 90cm).
And off I went!
I used my palette knife as per usual, so getting the background solid, but interesting took a while. I decided to do the actual tomatoes last as I was told that you should always reserve the use of red paint for last.
I got to work on the smashed tomato first.
All I can say, it looked like a bloody murder scene on the table! *sad face*
So, I scraped the dramatic juice and opted for something more subtle. And it worked!
“Less is more,” they say.
I hate being subtle (who knew?) but I believe I got it right with this painting of tomatoes.
I see it hanging in a beautiful restaurant, maybe Italian, but definitely in the picturesque Cape Town.