The Santa Myth

by Lisa

There’s an old maxim amongst us still life painters–when in doubt, paint blue and white.  You will see many a still life painter these days, hip to this trick.

The above is a demo I did last week. Sometimes, if I am having a so so artistic week, and feeling like a painting impostor, and the question comes up — well what ARE you going to paint for that demo Lisa? I will reach for the blue and white pot every time. Here’s how it goes down: you block everything in, create some drammatic contrast in the light versus’ the shadows on everything. Few swashbuckler slashes on the roses which always generates some ewes and ahhs. Get the lit side of the pot NOT WHITE, but a mixture of white with a tad of blue and orange (yes, that would be complimentary colors which gray each other), maybe a touch of yellow to warm it up, and by now, you are running out of time, and must get to the design on the pot. But you’re ready, and the students are ready. They can’t WAIT to see that blue design go in. And they are wondering how in the WORLD you will do it with only two minutes to spare. (I like to push it to the limit – works great every time.) You take straight ultramarine blue and a round brush and tickle that design in there letting it bleed into the “white” and simply indicate that you know what that design is doing. And VOILA. You got the students singing praises. It’s really nothing but an illusion. And once you learn how to do it, it’s like learning there’s no such thing as Santa Claus.


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8 Responses to The Santa Myth

  1. 100swallows says:

    That’s a nice professional trick, Lisa–but of course one has to be pretty experienced to make it work as well as you do.
    But isn’t it sad that as one learns about any art or discipline, the magic disappears. Oh, I know you admire more things and see more, but the miracle, the Santa Claus, goes. Love or poetry or LIFE “begins in delight and ends in wisdom” says Robert Frost. Does he mean “ends in the sad facts”?
    But on the other hand, it’s true that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”, keeps delighting.

    Hey–do those slashes of red on the roses really generate ewes (female sheep)? Perhaps you meant “ewes and baahhs”. Do you sell the meat? In Ohio people don’t like lamb but I love it.

  2. I adore lamb! Nice demo!

  3. lbtowers says:

    Well how else do you spell “ewe” as in a sound you make 100swallows? Usually we hipsters use it to spell the sound you would make when smelling something rotten. I applied it here hoping the grammar police would cut me some slack.

    I love lamb too. Now I have lambchops on the brain, and it’s 7:00 in the morning.

  4. 100swallows says:

    Heck, I was only teasing, Lisa.
    Isn’t that terrible about English? Ours must be the only language that has sounds that can’t be written. And that has writing that can’t be read unless you already know how the word is pronounced.
    My shepherd buddy changed to goats lately, so I miss ewe chops more than ever. Did you ever have suckling goat? Delicious.

  5. It is not quite that easy.
    Nice demo.
    It’s hard with everyone staring at what you are doing and asking questions. My demos usually come out pretty mediocre.

  6. Hey, wait, what do you guys mean, “Santa Myth” ?

  7. Rhonda says:

    You make is sound so easy! And it looks lovely and fresh but I know it’s not easy to get that look :)

  8. gypsy-heart says:

    I like the freeness of this piece Lisa..’tis lovely!

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