Oil on Linen / 30 x 40
The Lakai fertility tapestries are so saturated and graphically interesting that I wanted the remainder of this composition to maintain tranquility. Silver, though technically reflecting everything, is somehow a peaceful material for me. And as always, I hunger for at least one small moment of humor in a still life, which was satisfied when the rabbit hopped into the bottom left corner.
Oil on Board / 12 x 12 inches
It's been years since I painted using electric light, but my new Spanish studio is dark in the evenings. This little porcelain figurine, when set atop bright colors and converging lines seemed straight out of a lapine burlesque show. Silk scarf and tiny silk-and-bone treasure box are from my grandmother.
Oil on Linen / 20 x 24 inches / 2017
An ode to the Andalusian summer of 2017 with a dangling piece of jute which formed a cartoonish shadow silhouette. I feel lucky when a still life pleases me visually and is also a little funny, or at least quircky. I love this quote, "A major criterion for judging the anxiety level of any society is the loss of its capacity to be playful.”
― Edwin H. Friedman,
Oil on Linen / 30 x 30 inches
The Lakai silk-on-wool embroideries from Uzbekistan are fertility talismans, as well as exquisitely ornamental wall hangings. This one invited other objects from around the studio to assemble: a Murano vase bought 30 years ago, some Moroccan pigment, a Japanese teapot, some jute, and a somewhat Venus di Milo figurine.
Oil on Wood Panel / 12 x 12 inches / 2017
A stunning embroidery from Uzbekistan provided the foundation for this composition. For many years I've been organizing figures and still life against the white walls of my adopted "Pueblo Blanco" in Andalusia. This meditation in saturated color is a swing in a new direction.
Oil on Belgian Linen / 2016
Visiting the Ufizzi in June, I fell totally in love with Bronzino. Seeing his paintings was a home-coming, back to when I first fell in love with making art. I especially responded to a portrait of baby Cosimo de Medici holding a very unlucky songbird. The postcard asked very politely if I would also put him in a painting with red velvet after I painted a portrait of Helene Hayman against a wall of red. It has been a season of cranberry, wine and crimson.
Oil on Linen / 40 x 28 inches / Available
The magic rabbit flies again.
Oil on Linen / 25.25 x 19.5 inches
I've loved the yellow silk scarf since I bought it in a yard sale in 1985. It stars in tens of my still lifes. When a neighbor let me cut lemons off his Olvera tree, I wondered could the two objects be beautiful together as a sort of visual humor? Yellow polka dots host a yellow fruit? For more drama I chose the dark copper watering can and strong sideways light.
Oil on Linen / 30 x 30 inches / Availabe
Having been thinking about still life as a symbolic expression of emotional states and beliefs, I decided to place an actual self-portrait into the tableau. Tranquility and contentment are the themes of the painting, expressed through blues and yellows and their neighboring colors. Glass objects represent permeable boundries, possibilities, beauty. Bronze horse by Elizabeth DeCosimo.
Oil on Linen / 36 x 48 inches / 2016
I listened to an audio recording of Watership Down while painting this still life, which gave a whole other significance to the rabbit figurines. Antique blown glass from Switzerland, Spain and Italy, with a tiny self-portrait by Berthe Morisot.
Oil on linen / 24 x 19.5 inches
A friend in Italy loaned me one of his grandmother's two copper water vessels, with which he went to the spring for water when he was a boy. The damasks I also bought near his town, Anghiari.
Juried into the Oil Painters of America 2017 Eastern Regionals Exhibition.
Oil on Belgian Linen / 40 x 32 inches
Fascinated by glass, I picked up this enormous wine bottle in a junk yard near Modena, Italy. It is hand blown. I wanted the bottle to be the star of the show, so kept the composition pretty simple. Chair hand-made in Morocco, aged on my roof.
Oil on Linen / 15 in x 18 inches
Oil on Linen / 32 in x 21.25 in
My Spanish cobbler collects antique tools. This hand-forged jamon scales stole my heart.
Oil on Linen / 24 x 32 inches
My favorite toy is a carved folk rabbit with wings and a magic egg-wand. Here he flies in a still life for the second time. The tiny, hand-blown vessel on the right is an antique vinegar pitcher from Toledo. I was experimenting with composition by placing fiery red at two edges.
Oil on Linen / 13.5 x 29.5 inches
There is a lemon tree in the patio at my husband's studio. When the citrus began falling, fat and yellow, off the tree, they reminded me of our bath ducks, and of the ugly duckling fable. Of course, there had to be butterflies, too.
Oil on Linen / 60 x 39.5 inches
One of my painting teacher told me a story about William Merritt Chase, who when posing portrait models, allegedly insisted that they leave the room, and then return with purposeful strides to their position. The reason for this was to have the folds of the dresses describe the motion of the model. I was thinking about that legend while I set up this still life, and wanted to have the drapery insinuate the sway of a skirt.
Oil on Linen / 20 x 24 inches
Last year we spent a couple of weeks painting at the home of a loved one in Switzerland. It's one of the most peaceful spots on earth. I wanted to put in the still life those days' experience of tranquility, friendship, beautiful dinners and bird songs. I especially like the chestnuts.
Available, at Beverly McNeil Gallery Birmingham
Oil on Linen / 30 x 24 inches
Surrounded by sumptuous silks and dressed in clean-cut stripes, this tableau reminded me of the going-to-church rituals of my childhood. I've had both these silk scarves since high school, and they appear regularly in my paintings.
Oil on Linen / 32 x 24 inches
Over the last three years the flying rabbit has been a frequent actor on my still life stage. According to Native American folklore, the rabbit a prey animal and is a signifier of the need to face fears: do you run? do you freeze? do you hide in the brambles? However a rabbit with wings has yet another option: to soar.
Oil on Linen / 30 x 30 inches
The summer of 2015 was dedicated to painting equestrian-themed paintings. Here for the rider I placed good boots (of Spanish leather), an English bridle and my grandmother's antique Hermes scarf with coaches. For the horse I put a linoleum print of an Andalusian, and three juicy apples.
Collection of Jennifer and Phil Lawrence