Sunday, July 12, 2009
Still Life With Blue Kettle
18 x 24 oil on canvas
For a while I was really really bad about putting a tea kettle on and forgetting it! In the name of safety, the children gave me this nice blue kettle with a little bird that fits into the spout to whistle when the water begins to boil! Yea, that worked! However, for this painting I removed the bird. Even placed on the table, it seemed to change the mood from "serious still life" to "cutesy" ...so... no bird. Now I wish I had included it!
The bowl is actually stainless steel. The entire painting was completed from a set up in the studio using only black and white acrylic. The oil colors were glazed on over the dry acrylic underpainting. The glazes were built up over a few days allowing for drying between the layers.
Once again I am delighted that this painting inspired a beautiful poem by James Cox at Diamond Poetry What an honor. Thank you Jim!
Blue Kettle Tea my Blessed Daughter
The eastern sky
stands blue behind the Sandia Mountains,
but in the west a thunderhead approaches.
Teresa Chino comes down
from the mesa
to dig fresh clay for her pottery.
After the day’s work,
tired from the carry and the walk,
she climbs the sandstone stairs to Sky City,
ancient Acoma pueblo.
She looks forward to her daughter’s tea
made in the blue kettle:
they eat bread baked in a clay oven,
and strips of elk cooked all day
with carrots, potatoes, and wild onions.
In the evening, in sand by the door,
they draw designs
lit by moonlight and firelight,
their eyes in shadow, their hearts free.
The next morning,
they grind the stone.
In the weeks ahead,
she will teach her daughter
the secrets of pottery.
Teresa prays to the sun and the stars –
May her temper give her making strength
and the hard will of the Acoma way.
May her spirit give her making beauty.
In the evening, as we listen to the kee kee yah
of hawk coaxing black rabbit,
may you guide me in my lessons.
May we have rain and a cool wind tomorrow.