Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl: a long story about to be finished

Back in September 2011 (according to the dates on the photos I took) I started what was to be the first of a series of blue egg still lifes. My husband was bringing home these eggs from the Binghamton farmers’ market last year, and they are beautiful — the softest of blues ranging from aqua tint to a pale sky blue, natural to the breed of chicken that lays them. So I set up and photographed some arrangements of the eggs in natural light — after saving them in the fridge for at least a week, maybe more, thinking of a “live” still life — prepared three smallish 12 x 16″ canvases with an acrylic wash of cadmium red, and chose and cropped three of the photos, experimenting with various color saturation settings but otherwise leaving the photos unedited. As usual, I printed out versions with overlaid grids and without.

I like “gridding up” as a means of transferring compositions to final substrate, as it gives my hand freedom for happy accidents and surprises, but helps me retain basic proportions and layout.

So, I did the underpainting, blocked in the colors, then hung it on the studio wall to dry… and moved on to other things. Now I’m putting together art for my upcoming show, Feathered and Feline, and the egg pieces were a natural for inclusion. Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl has been hanging dormant all these months, so while I was letting Cat, Owl, Pussycat dry, yesterday I took Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl down off its nail, put it back on the easel, and made real progress. It’ll be ready to show in March. (I used one of the other egg compositions for Eddie and the Blue Eggs. What, you thought Eddie actually posed with the eggs…? <grin>)

Here’s my progress so far.

Blue Eggs, SilverBowl - stage 1: cad red underpainting
Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl - stage 1: cad red underpainting (oils on acrylic-tinted canvas)
Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl - stage2: initial color block-in
Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl - stage2: initial color block-in ...and there the work stopped, until now
Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl - stage 3
Blue Eggs, Silver Bowl - stage 3: the white speckles at center bottom are light relections, from a still-wet blue glaze I applied over eggs and bowl.
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