Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Still Life - Pears and Grapes

Last Sunday I began this still life.  I decided to do an elongated format; in this case 10" x 20".  I had some rolled preprimed canvas which I had added an extra coat of Gamblin painting ground.  I was anxious to try out the surface prep so I bought some stretcher bars from Utrecht and stretched a canvas just for this painting.

In passing, I should mention that the Utrecht bars were very unsatisfactory.  I don't recall purchasing them from Utrecht before, perhaps I have at some time in the past, but I won't be doing so again in the least, not without checking the assembly in the store before purchase.  At least two of the bars had warps (twist) which caused a mismatch at the corners.  They still mated fine - that is the slots went together as they should -but they were not in alignment.  As a result, there was a corresponding protrusion at each corner.  If I had not been in such a rush to get painting, I would have taken them back.  But I went ahead and used them.  Hope they don't cause trouble when the picture is framed.  I'm a fan of Utrecht oil paint, and Utrecht brushes have been good, but these stretcher bars were inferior quality.

Anyway, I worked on this painting for about 12 - 14 hours over several evening and weekend sessions.  I wanted to refine it a bit more than I normally do, but also keep the brush strokes and paint thickness interesting.  Most of the paints are Rembrandt,with Transparent Oxide Red, Olive Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Lemon Yellow being the predominant colors used.  The canvas surface was wonderful.  The roll was a fine weave cotton...from Fredrix, I think...and the extra coat of oil ground made it even smoother and much less absorbent.  It was a delight to paint on.  My medium was walnut oil.  I used almost no OMS for anything, including brush cleaning.  I love the consistency and the sheen of the walnut oil, but beware, it is very slow to dry.

Pears and Grapes  Oil on Stretched Canvas  10" x 20" 


  1. Bruce, You have painted another lovely still life. It is entrancing. I do enjoy the muted shadowed fruits and leaves and the background works so well.
    My framer orders stretcher bars from Daniel Smith Company. He says he likes working with quality stretcher bars and does not worry when he orders from DS.

  2. What a striking Still Life Painting...'Love your work!

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