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This still life is of oyster shells on a plate, with a water pitcher in the background. Painted December, 2012. 9" x 12" plaster on panel.
Portfolios: Still Lifes, 2012 - 2013, February 2013 Curator Reviewed Art
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What a treat to read the Resident Curator's comments on two paintings I really enjoyed making, Oysters and Mum. Oysters transports me to another time and place, simple and elegant. Ms. Woodward saw exactly what I was doing with Mum, recognizing the brushwork of the paint, as well as the labor of scraping the surface to achieve the texture. When the layer below emerges through the glaze, the picture comes to life.
While I love your works encrusted with gold leaf, these oysters on a plate seem to swoon for Cezanne. There’s a gorgeous handling of the still life with neutralized cool color and scumbled white. I like that the plate slightly hovers in space- the softened edges of the white cloth cradle the nuances of the similarly white plate. The shifting color on the edge of the elliptical platter helps to push my eyes around the space, so that I don’t get weighed down in the (albeit light) centrally placed subject. The slight diagonal slant of the cloth on the right side of the picture plane also creates an unexpected dynamic, injecting more movement into the otherwise level and symmetrical composition of shells. The small painting simply entitled Mum is also enigmatic- simple in design, but lush in the painterly handling of form and light. The roughness in the gestural stylization and darker value stops the piece from being too romantic or sentimental. While there are clearly delicate marks and subtle changes in color, there is an inherent strength implied by the scraping of the surface, and idea that the object is pushing out of its ground.
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Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.
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