Sunday, 6 December 2009

the allotment fair

am currently working on an oil painting and the preparatory drawing is below. The painting is based on an event at my mum’s allotment.

As the growing season nears its end the members organise an “Allotment show”. Quite a jovial affair. They pitch a large marquee, have a jumble sale and sell cake. At least thirty varieties of cake. So much cake!

The culmination of the show is the grand prize giving for the finest fruits and vegetables. They have the usual categories, ‘Largest pumpkin’, ‘Best onions’ and so on. Each winner is presented with a small trophy and large applause. No better way to while away a late summer afternoon.

Drawing note:
I really struggled to make the child at the rear column come alive. I was looking for somewhere between “Butter wouldn’t melt in the mouth” as a first impression, then on closer inspection “Precocious little bastard”. The subtleties of this contrast eluded me. I finally discovered a child painted by Michelangelo on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, and he appeared to have what i was lookng for. Interestingly the child was frozen in purgatory awaiting the lord’s judgment. Perhaps the great man was searching for this good/bad expression too?

I am not Michelangelo so of course I am still not sure I have captured him. I will try to work him up at the painting stage. We shall see,

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