I once read a diet mantra that has stuck with me for years:
“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”
I hate apples. It’s mostly a texture thing – the skins against my teeth feel like nails on a chalkboard, and I don’t like them much better peeled. So I’m not sure if that diet advice is even more valid in my case or what, but I do my best to make really healthy food choices so that I don’t have to eat apples.
Turns out I hate painting apples too.
About a year ago I tried to paint a still life of an apple and some walnuts, and it’s one of the few canvases I gesso’d over because I hated it so much. For my little fruit trio assignment I picked up an apple at Whole Foods thinking I’d give it another go. How hard could this little round orb of red and yellow be? It’s aesthetically pleasing enough. Well, after agonizing over this trio intermittently and half-heartedly for the last month I’m giving up. I’m done. I already stopped eating them, now I’m going to stop painting them. I show here my misfit apples, every one of these destined for my portfolio of misfit art. In fact I don’t consider any of them truly finished, I just got tired of working on them all. I even threw away the first pastel version, something I almost never do, and did the second one in about 30 minutes with all the patience of a gnat.
As I write this I also have a trio of eggplants in progress. They might not turn out as expected, as I still seem to struggle with the most basic techniques, but I love them. I love the colors, and the process of resolving all the little problems, and the moments of magic in each of them. So at least I know this isn’t a creative block. It’s all the fault of this detestable apple, henceforth banned from my studio.
Next up, eggplants, unless I finish the persimmons first, or let myself get sidetracked into pomegranates. This is Southern California and I live on a farmlet. Beautiful, tasty produce abounds here. So who needs apples anyway?
Previously, in the trio series: A trio of brussels sprouts.