Fruit, a classic still-life subject for centuries that hasn’t lost its place in the genre today. Fruit often carried symbolic or religious references. In ancient Egypt food items often decorated the interior walls of tombs indicating reference to an afterlife.
Now I’m not sure how I’d feel if I found something like this on the interior wall of a tomb. Maybe I’d feel some warmth and joy. Perhaps even some comfort toward those who had passed over. I think the symbolic nature of food on the walls at that time also marked a blessing for abundance and provision in the afterlife. At least that’s my interpretation from what I’ve read.
This painting emerged from a small gathering of clementines, a fruit that shows up in the local markets of NJ at this time of year. They are generally flavorful and I love that the skin just falls off with the littlest effort. I created a small set-up for this painting and wanted something that I felt would work well within a square canvas. The square format isn’t something I usually work in but from time to time it’s a nice change. The grouping of three lent well to the square and I liked working with this unique palette of colors that combined bright and muted hues. A sprinkle of patterning in the background was inspired the floral print that rested behind them adding a bit of further interest to the composition. I’m in the process of painting a few more of these to further investigate fruit as and their powerful presence as a subject.