LYRICISM; casein on panel; 16" x 16"
available at Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, MN www.grovelandgallery.com
LYRICISM – a casein on panel; 16” x 16” – is an early painting from a recent series of mine. The study I did for this piece was painted from life. Being much smaller, it allowed me to catch the color nuances and light effects before this grouping of wild sunflowers moved too much for my artist's eye. Like many of my floral still lifes, this one began with more blooms than it eventually contained. I kept whittling away at - and rearranging – the grouping until a perfect balance of stems, leaves and flowers happened. Only then did I set up my field easel in my kitchen (more about that below) and painted it alla prima – in one session from life. Later on, I utilized this study to create the larger studio work you see above.
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