Satisfaction; casein on panel; 6_ x 12_;

SATISFACTION; casein on panel; 6" x 12"

available at Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

SATISFACTION – a casein on panel; 6” x 12” – is a painting from a recent series of mine.  It is an alla prima - meaning it was painted from life without the use of photographs.  Painting this way allows me to catch the color nuances and light effects that are impossible to see in photo reference.  Like many of my floral and fruit still lifes, this one began with more blooms and objects than it eventually contained.  I kept whittling away at - and rearranging – the grouping until a perfect balance of shapes, leaves, diffraction and color happened.  Only then did I set up my field easel in my kitchen (more about that below) and painted it in one go.

Several months ago I accidentally stumbled upon placing still life objects on top of my refrigerator – the horizontal surface of which is exactly at my eye level.  At about the same time, I heard a National Gallery podcast that mentioned the 15th century artist, Mantenga, and his use of Sotto in Su (Italian for “worm’s eye view.”)  When I realized that my fascination with this vantage point had a long and rich history, I was emboldened to explore my refrigerator-top-still-life idea further.  I’ve since gone on to paint many more pieces in this format – and I envision painting many more. 

 - Mary Nagel Klein