Still Life with Persimmon and Chestnuts was featured today on Brunswick Street Gallery FB and IG pages. I am very grateful, as it isn't possible for me to go into the exhibition due to the high level of covid here in Melbourne, the virus is the worst ever here at this time. I have had to cancel the hairdresser appointment this week due to a number of staff coming down with the Omicron variant. Even though I have my booster shot, my bestie hasn't yet and out of consideration, I obviously don't want my friend potentially exposed to this virus whilst we're out and about doing what is in effect, non essential activities. Apart from the disruption caused by the virus, I am also grateful that the gallery chose this one out of the six I put into the show, as there is a long back story behind painting the persimmon. I first started painting a persimmon fruit at the Botanical Art School of Melbourne and to be perfectly blunt about it, I completely stuffed it up. Jenny had given us all an exquisite twig with a fruit on it from her garden. And I put at least 300 hours into it yet somehow found myself in a painting trance and before I knew it there was an otherwordly being, a blues spirit, landed on my twig. Preposterous! And unfortunately the truth. I was sober as I don't drink or do drugs, yet Iong focus on paintings can sometimes cause hypnagogic imagery and so I started painting that. Needless to say I was very frustrated and left off painting this subject matter for quite some time. (lets say 12 years!) Then last year I was in at Toscano's and these beautiful fruits were there for the picking. The time was right, the fruit was ripe and the painting got done. If it wasn't for the fact that I had already painted this subject in unbelievable detail years before, I wouldn't have painted this relatively quickly - in like about 60 hours. The chestnuts were a breeze, done in about 30 hours! Painting is like riding a bike, once you master something it comes back very quickly even though many years have passed. I am glad my time there was fruitful in the long run!
Still Life with Persimmon and Chestnuts, captured by a friend, shown here in situ at the gallery.