The Food of Love

The Food of Love.  Oil on canvas, 42″ x 26″.

The Food of Love, 42″ x 26″, oil on canvas, is a medium size oil painting that silhouettes a dark foreground against a blue middle ground. The melancholy mood in front, contrasts with the buoyant mood beyond. The title comes from the first line of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, a favorite comedy. The play didn’t inspire the painting, however, reading it at the time, it became part of my creative mental mix. There is a sprinkling of details that refer to the play. I count eight, but there could be more. We artists really don’t “know” what we’re doing. Our “intentions” don’t matter. In dancing, do we count the steps? When we’re learning we do, but at some point we let go, and simply flow with the music.

The water was especially challenging. It is created by underpainting the watery texture with thick, pure white paint. Then when dry, a thin blue is glazed over that. The waves were created by wiping with a rag, and then the highlights were added. Because the blue is a glazed color, it has a luminous appearance, especially in person. The illusion of light in the windows is created by surrounding them with much darker colors. They appear illuminated by contrast. At the same time, the figure in the lower left had to be shadowy. What is on the screen behind him?