Sunday, January 26, 2020

New paintings, new inspirations

My most recent paintings have fallen into two categories: mandarin oranges and vintage barbershop. No connecting thread between subjects other than the creative process and the desire to explore imagery with both. Often while I'm painting I mentally cook up another composition with the same subject, so these have both developed into mini-series.

This painting, Mandarin Rising, was done last year and recently sold at Newburyport Art Association - my first local sale in our new home.

Mandarin orange, clementine, classical still life
Mandarin Rising (sold) ©2019 Dorothy Lorenze

I love painting the color and texture of these little oranges and had a backlog of composition ideas so was happy to see them again at Whole Foods. Here are the two latest, with different Asian elements to compliment their Mandarin-ness.

Clementine, glazed ginger jar, classical still life
Orange Ginger, 6x8" ©2019 Dorothy Lorenze 

Orange Ginger features a classic, green ginger jar with glazed highlights on the low-relief surface that contrast nicely with the flat, raw clay of the cover.

Clementine orange, vintage wooden box, opium cache, still life, original oil painting
Orange and Opium, 6x8" ©2019 Dorothy Lorenze

Orange and Opium requires a bit of explanation. The wooden box serving as a backdrop for the orange was purchased in a flower shop in San Francisco that had a variety of unusual containers and vintage boxes for floral arrangements. I like the deep red paint, scarred with indentations. Almost like someone tapped a hot circular object on it, like... say, an opium pipe?! Quite possibly, since inside the box was a slip of paper describing it as a 1920s opium box. I bought it in spite of its drug history and with fingers crossed that this treasure would not alert drug sniffing dogs at the airport. It's a great little box with a small sliding cover and a lot of character. I've got tons of ideas for compositions with this one. And I'm happy to say there was no drug-related delay at the airport.

The above paintings will soon be available on my website, which I am in the process of updating.

Meanwhile, Noteworthy, a trompe l'oeil "rack" painting, and Dutch Apple Still Life, a classic still life composition, are on view at the Newburyport Art Association. And I'm just tickled to share that Dutch Apple Still Life was awarded Best in Show! It also sold which is pretty exciting too, but what truly moved me was the kind comments by the juror. He described my piece as having "...the attention to detail one would expect from a Northern Renaissance master painting." Wow! He saw a connection to the very work that I admire most. And in fact, the pewter pot was bought in Amsterdam on a quest to bring home a Rembrandt-esque objet d'art for future inspiration.

I am so grateful to Newburyport Art Association and juror Jim Craig of Rockwell Art Association and Museum for this honor.
antique pewter, ripe apple, classical realism
Dutch Apple Still Life ©2019 Dorothy Lorenze
trompe l'oeil, vintage papers, antique desk utensils
Noteworthy ©2018 Dorothy Lorenze
The Newburyport exhibit is full of beautiful work artfully hung by the committee. They have enriched the viewer's experience by grouping sensitive drawings or fresh florals or colorful abstracts. Each a storyboard of complimentary imagery. Well worth a visit before it closes this weekend (February 1st).

In my next newsletter I plan to describe some of my painting process, showing stages of work in progress with the paintings I'm developing now. Stay tuned for more vintage barbershop a la Sweeney Todd, without the murderous bit.

Thanks so much for sticking with me on this art journey.

To the new readers: check out earlier studio news here where you can also search for past subjects. Please leave comments, ask questions and share this newsletter with anyone you think might find it interesting.

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