Birds on a Wire
There’s something about pears for me…the shapes, the contours, the colors. Though I’d never turn down the chance to eat a sweet, juicy pear, I’m much more interested in them as subjects for still lifes. And they’ve got that anthropomorphic thing going for me: I certainly see them as female–all those lovely torsos. I painted BFF’s to celebrate the friendship between two women (I’m the taller one) and the Birds on a Wire are having a gossipy chat.
When I came across a poem about pears online, it inspired me to paint the pears that hang in my kitchen in Florida, so I painted the first two lines of the poem in DaVinci script, directly on the painting:
it was a pear
Why else the shape
of the womb,
or of the cello?
Some say it was a pear Eve ate…
When I painted The Bartletts, a triptych of eight pears, I used pears I had spent some time selecting at our local fruit store as my models. I very carefully wrapped them up and kept them at the back of my fruit drawer between painting classes, hoping to keep them from getting too ripe. I was about half done with the painting when we went away away for the weekend, and as soon as we pulled into our driveway, I knew that our son had been at the house while we were away. (He just left a light on in the den.) I had no problem with that until I saw the note he left on the kitchen counter: “Mom, where did you get those pears? They were awesome!” He had eaten three of my models! Don’t think it was so easy to replace them, either. Who knew that no two pears are alike?
I have a wall in my condo in Florida that was perfectly suited for a mural. Now, I’m not really a fan of murals—I’ve never seen any that I could imagine on my own walls—so I started thinking about what I might paint myself. The rug in that room is a needlepoint of parrots and palm trees, so I had to come up with something that wouldn’t conflict with it.
I was sitting on my patio, late one afternoon a year ago last May, just relaxing, playing word games on my iPad and listening to music, when I noticed the shadows of the palm trees in the yard on the building next to mine. The fronds were moving in the breeze, and it was somewhat soothing to watch the motion on the wall in front of me, a little hypnotic. I thought how cool it would be to have a palm tree inside, on my wall. The dimensions of the wall (9.5’ X 12.5’, then an arch over the bedroom doorway and another 9.5′ X 3′) wouldn’t allow for a painting of those palms that had inspired me, so I decided on a Bismarck palm, a variety of the fan palm with a short trunk and sage green fronds. I photographed one at my friend Judith’s house, because it was the perfect shape for my wall, then painted it last summer on a proportionately smaller canvas, as a sketch for my mural.
Last November, back in Florida, I was lucky enough to have one of my painting teachers, Alexis Baliotis, a young and very talented artist, come to stay with me for a week to help me paint my Bismarck palm on my wall. A few weeks after, I painted inside the arch of the doorway, then fiddled around with the background for some time, until I could call it done. It makes me smile every time I walk into my home, but it will be the only one of its kind, since I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever…paint another.
Hello family, friends, fellow painters and art lovers alike. I’m so glad you’ve visited my website.
Apparently I have a Twitter account too. Who knew? You can follow me @NancySatinArt. This is my first year in the digital sphere, and I’d love to get your feedback. -Nancy