"Bull's Eye Bouquet"
oil and enamel on paper-mounted panel. 8.5" x 7.5" 2011
detail of flowers and lettering.
The successful realization of a painting that I've wanted to make for a very long time. It was extremely fun to paint, to play at being Sargent a little bit. Some of the best flowers happen in his paintings, not to mention Uglow. The phrase was originally meant as a reference to peacocks, but applying it in a more literal sense works too. One of the things that draws me to the use of text, besides a way of graphically glorifying a title, is the conceptual tension that words can play against the image. In this case, the phrase is a suitable partner to the floral arrangement presented, but it also offers a way out of the literal, as a "bull's eye bouquet" is something all together different from what we might normally think of as a floral arrangement. With paintings like this, I am hoping for an composition that allows for a variety of individual interpretations within a framework of deliberate mark-making. Still pushing a clear idea, but allowing for some thinking space around it. I don't want to say it all. These days, I measure success in painting by how much they surprise me. If they don't keep me guessing afterwards, then they probably won't be much good to anyone else either.