Sunday, December 24, 2017

Coral poppy

Here is a coral poppy that I painted the week of December 18th. It began life as a much larger painting, taken from a photo of an unusually shaped poppy with ragged-edged petals. This poppy was actually a bit lopsided, with several layers of petals extending up into the upper right corner of the field of view, but it was very interesting-looking, which is not something you can say about most poppies, pretty as they are.

When I was done with the painting and stepped back to take a look at it, it struck me that it looked a lot like a portrait of a cooked shrimp. I looked back at the original poppy photo, and realized that it had slight shrimp-like qualities as well, which had been brought out by my treatment. 

I couldn't unsee the shrimp no matter how hard I tried. Nor could I simply let it be, and accept it as a shrimp-like poppy; I'd have to mention the painting's shrimpness to everyone who saw it, because I cannot tell a lie. I also knew that the minute they saw it, they too would see its true nature (I knew this because I told my Registered Nurse Buddy about it being a shrimp, and her response was "OMG. I see it"). If it had resembled something other than a cooked shrimp, something with just a bit of dignity, but no. 

So I cut off its tail and made it a small, close-in portrait of a pretty poppy. Now you all know that it was actually supposed to be a cooked shrimp; however, you'll have to imagine its tail.

You can  actually still see the remnants of the shrimp tail extending off to the upper right. 

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