Still Life with Chocolate Truffles
Oil on canvas, 8" x 12", 2011
Last Sunday Beth and I had a group of friends over for a "Buon Viaggio" dinner party in anticipation of their upcoming trip to Italy. As gifts, Sylvia brought a bottle of truffle flavored oil and Joanie brought a box of elegant chocolate truffles. Both are called truffles yet both are very different.
The truffle oil went to the kitchen to await some fettuccini to grace. The chocolate truffles went directly to the studio because I was in need of a "model" for this week's painting. I placed seven truffles on the tissue that lined the box.
Visually these were orbs differing in color and texture, all conforming to the passage of light across them. The tissue envelopes them and adds a translucent quality when placed in front of the stripped wall. The blue ribbon adds a melodic line that accentuates the rolling roundness of
the truffles .But with the world as it is........why paint candy?
"It is a gift to be simple...."
Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin
A Glass of Water and a Coffee Pot
Oil on canvas, 13" x 16", 1760
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
Many years ago I attended a major retrospective of the French artist Chardin at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I was just starting out as an artist and I was completely taken aback by his paintings, particularly the still lifes. The smaller ones were modest yet contained an extraordinary strength within a simplicity of form. I distinctly remember a small painting of a glass of water with some garlic bulbs ( A Glass of Water and a Coffee Pot). I was mesmerized with how the light traveled through the glass and across the white bulbs. Reproductions do not do it justice. It was from that point on that I knew I wanted to concentrate on the still life.
Woman with Pear
Oil on linen, 20" x 20", 2009-10
Andrew Stevovich and I both began our careers as artists in Boston. We met through a mutual friend and collector. We moved to galleries in New York at about the same time and have remained friends through it all.
I admire his painting ability. There is a clarity of color and a masterful use of brushwork that, in my opinion, makes him one of the best painters living today. I thought of Andrew when I needed to lighten and brighten my painting, by adding stripped wallpaper. Artist's are great borrowers, so that in my painting of truffles I am taking the passage of light from Chardin and adding the compositional clarity of Stevovich.
Now, what should I do with those remaining chocolate truffles......Hmmmmm.
For more information about Andrew Stevovich
Copyright 2011 James Aponovich