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May 01, 2007 4 Comments
The innocent lime is chopped and set upon a board. A light is adjusted and the bits of the green fruit moved around. The board is swapped out for something with better color, a piece of dark cardboard - a better contrast to the light glistening flesh. The painting is roughed in, but an issue with the composition becomes readily apparent (translation: it didn't "feel" right). The lime is moved a few more times, the light dimmed or shaped by a few scraps of cardboard. Then the real painting begins. On your mark, get set, get ready, go.

Big shapes of brown, black and green are thrown together. The cut wedges are dashed in and the bulk of the lime is worked on. Color is shifted back and forth. The skin of a lime is far more yellow than one would think. The flesh a little bluer. At some point the pacing and hard stares begin. More tea is made. Maybe a phone call answered. This is not going well. After standing and staring with feet frozen, out comes the big palette knife. Scrape. Scrape. The big piece of lime is gone. The shape wasn't right. Nor was the color. Or the tone. Or something. More painting, this time faster and more certain. This will do it.

No, it won't. Out comes that knife again. Who does this little lime think it is? It knows what it is. Like everything in the series painted before it, it's under the lamp. It is the boss. It has a curve like this, a hint of ocher in that bruise there, a shadow with a softness that can't be too strong. The lime is in charge. All the brush can do is follow.

The lime comes and goes a few more times. Another cup of tea is brewed. Some e-mail gets checked. Did you know that BMW announced a new dirt bike? Damn that bitter bitter lime.

More painting. This time, there's no knife, just a bigger brush. This time, the presumptuous lime is vanquished for good. In a mighty smear of satisfaction, a strip of black and brown, it's gone. It's my damn painting. I'll do what I want.

Lime Wedges, 6" x 4", sold

For more information about and an inventory of the Small Works, click here.


Don Gray    May 01, 2007  at  12:36 pm

Ah, the painter’s life…doing battle with fruits and vegetables.

I have this quote by Gerhard Richter pinned to my studio wall:

“Accept that I can plan nothing…I often find this intolerable and
even impossible to accept; because, as a thinking and planning human being, it humiliates me to find out that I am so powerless. It casts doubt on my competence and constructive abilities. My only consolation is that I did actually make the pictures—even though they are a law unto themselves, even though they treat me any way they like and somehow just take shape. Because it’s still up to me to determine the point at which they are finished. (Picture making consists of a multitude of Yes/No decisions, with a Yes to end it all.)”

I really appreciate your work and your blog, Scott—thanks.

Steve    May 02, 2007  at  7:15 pm

A bit of gin, a bit of tonic - that’s what this lime is meant to augment.

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ClairHixson    Feb 25, 2018  at  5:39 pm

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