Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Melitzanosalata" — completed oil painting by Paul Baldassini

“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” — Francis Bacon

To secure this Baldassini original artwork  for your collection please call 860-638-0890 today.  Or visit my website to view other works in this series and other series.

Here is the completed painting "Melitzanosalata" (eggplant salad).  The dimensiona are 27 1/4  x 24 inches.  I'm quite happy the way this work turned out and have already started on the next painting in this new series.  The white backgrounds offer all kinds of opportunities and potential for developing interesting compositions.  After working out my ideas through the lens of my camera, digitally editing the reference images allows me yet another creative opportunity to create a pleasing composition before I commit to brushes and paint.

I find it hard to just jump into a painting and get to work.  That's no doubt part of the reason why I have difficulty painting outdoors, en plein air or painting subject matter "from life in natural light", where you have to work, for the most part, very fast).  I know a great many artists find this to be the holy grail of painting accomplishment but its just not for me.  I also think its highly overrated.  What works for me is a methodical and steady approach to painting where I thoroughly enjoy every part of the process right up to signing my name (actually thats my least favorite and I always agonize over where and what color to sign it).

Look for the new work in-progress here very soon!


Monday, January 7, 2013

"Melitzanosalata" — in progress oil painting by Paul Baldassini

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”  — Oscar Wilde

To secure this Baldassini original artwork  for your collection please call 860-638-0890 today.  Or visit my website to view other works in the series.

Here is the Quinacridone underpainting and in-progress overpainting of a new work entitled "Melitzanosalata".   Melitzanosalata means "eggplant salad" buts its actually a dip, very similar to baba ghanoush.  This is the third work in my new series retitled "Tabletop", and utilizes fruits and vegetables from my own garden, some from farmers markets, some from local markets and supermarkets.  I'm also utilizing a minimally painted white background over the entire composition, something I tried on part of "Hypnotic Citrus" the first work in this series.

In this series, I am very involved in EVERY aspect of the work including:

•  growing the produce
•  selecting produce from local sources when not homegrown
•  choosing props including glassware, bowls, plates and fabrics that I've been collecting for over 30 years
•  designing, composing, and styling the still life set-ups
•  photographing the still life in raking natural sunlight with long cast shadows (usually morning light)
•  digital image editing and compositing
•  producing my own custom reference prints
•  and of course, the painting

I bracket each shot 1 F-stop up and down so I can "borrow" opened up shadows and replace blown out highlight detail as necessary.  Often after viewing the images from the photo shoot, it becomes necessary for design reasons to make changes to the layouts.  So, for insurance, during each still life set-up I also photograph a lot of "support players" that I can add and subtract as necessary, and composite into the final composition digitally.  For example, in the above composition I added and/or slightly moved all 4 of the cherry tomatoes as well as the cast shadow from the shallot.  There was an entirely different red tomato sitting in the blue martini glass that had no stem or stem leaf cluster.  I decided that the tomato needed a stem whereas the green tomato has none, so I composited a different "tomato top" from another shot onto the original tomato.  I can't imagine photography or the creative process without a tool like Adobe Photoshop.