Many of my paintings begin with a fond memory of childhood.
When I found this 1950's light switch, my mind reverted back to
the smell of coffee, drifting from the kitchen and down the hall
to our bedrooms. Mom was always starting the day by making
the coffee, while she prepared our sack lunches for school.
I always wondered what she would have done with her life if she
had more time for herself. This painting will show a woman
taking a break to 'smell the coffee' in her smartly appointed
I began by designing a mid century
'atomic' kitchen wallpaper. The boomerang motif has always
entertained me, so I incorporated those fun shapes with some
Here is a close-up of the design.
I have a pretty extensive collection of kitchen clocks from the
1950's, and hadn't used this yellow clock in a painting up until
now. Since the wallpaper design is in pink and turquoise,
I'll change the color of the clock to pink.
The stage is now set with a melmac coffee cup and a blueberry
Carol will be the model for this painting. She is leaning
up against what will be the blueberry muffin.
I've penciled in my drawing on the 16" x 18" canvas and started
with the wallpaper. After I put in all the components,
there were optical voids throughout the space. I
introduced another small design element (a small boomerang and
hollow triangle) into the 'holes'.
Various shades of gray have been added to the 'white' of the
wallpaper, depending on reflective light off of the table
surface and the back of the clock.
I've replaced the yellow in the clock to pink and painted a
slight green reflected light area on the bottom edge, showing
that the countertop will eventually be turquoise.
The light switch is roughed in on the wall.
Painting a dark liquid (coffee)in a cup is always fun.
There are little reflective spots that really make it look wet.
Here is the cup and saucer. I will probably tone down the
pink reflection in the turquoise cup, but punched it in there to give
the cup some interest.
The turquoise countertop coordinates with the wallpaper and sets
the stage for the muffin and woman.
The muffin top. Notice the greenish reflective light in
the shadow area of the left edge of the muffin.
And now, the whole muffin in its splendor.
Young lady with coffee in the sun...
Here is the painting at the halfway point. Everything
painted in a turpentine thinned wash. Heavy paint is
The first object to get the final paint application is the
clock, where I've made it considerably darker. (Compare it
to the photo above).
I've put the heavier final oil paint on the wall switch.
It has a rich 'juicy' look.
The back wallpaper is finished. Notice the greenish cast
in the gray of the bottom right, reflecting the turquoise
The cup and saucer are completed. The glare of my studio
lighting kills some of the contrast in this image with the
reflections of light in the coffee.
The blueberry muffin is not only finished, but Carol and I
pulled it out of the freezer and finished it off... very tasty!
The figure is completed. Working with a small sable brush
on a small figure in a painting is always a challenge. The
slightest misplacement of the brush and you can make someone
look very grotesque. Carol turned out great!
Here is the completed oil painting. It will have a little
more 'pop' to it when I can give it a coat of light varnish.