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 kitchen.

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 coffee cups. 

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 muffin.

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 next...

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 countertop.

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.