30 x 30 inches | oil finger painting on canvas
A tabletop, a tealight candle in a little clay pinchpot, a water glass with bouquet of sunflowers. The petals fade into the background. The candle’s feisty flame is reflected in the vase and across the tabletop. The impasto textures, the dancy wooziness of the sunflowers: this piece is a meditative homage to Vincent van Gogh, a séance summoning.
A technique that makes this painting stand out is the intentional blurring of the sunflowers’ edges. Their yellow thickness gives the painting an irresistibly saturated quality. The slightly peculiar distortion of the candle’s reflection in the glass follows the fainting dream logic of the flowers.
I painted this at the end of a long workday this winter. The sun was down early and my studio turned dark, so I decided to call it a day. As I turned on the television, I kept getting distracted by the dancing candle and the pretty colors it was making with its flicker. I turned off the TV and used my iPad to draw the true-to-life colors that I could see as they were happening. Squinting my eyes, I could see purples in the gloom and the slight greenish hue that the stalks reflected.
A few days later, I used that study to make a satisfyingly thick oil painting. This piece became a little séance or prayer that conjured the spirit of Vincent van Gogh, who would have definitely painted the sunflowers instead of watching Netflix. This moment ended up being an important reminder about being a creative: you have turn off the distraction and do the work. This painting exists because I turned the TV off and created something instead of consuming. I invite you to extinguish the screen and light a candle.