Monday, April 19, 2010


© Paula Pertile

Here's what I'm working on. Its an heirloom tomato. Have you seen these? They're pretty wild looking. And they taste heavenly. This lovely specimen is not red, like the tomatoes you're probably used to. They're all some variety of yellows, greens and oranges, with a touch of red here and there, and they're each truly unique. Nature is amAZing.

I'm using Polychromos on Stonehenge. This needs more orange and an over all bumping up, but its getting there. The faint "polka dots" you see on the page are grape tomatoes. And that lovely grey bar along the bottom is from my scanner, which I didn't bother to crop off.

This piece is actually vertical, and 11 x 17. I've cut off the bottom half. The whole idea for this is something a little new for me, but finally something I can say is truly "me". I took about a hundred reference shots of these tomatoes, all posed in traditional ways, stacked up, with interesting lighting, in a paper bag, etc. etc. etc. Then slept on it, and had a moment of clarity when I realized that none of those was what I wanted to do.

I had a whole conversation with myself about why I'm afraid sometimes to do what I really want to with my art. Do you 'go there'? Its often tempting to do what you think people are expecting to see, or what will be well-received, or in more blunt terms, "what will sell". And in the end, what's the point of that? The point of making art like this is self expression, saying what you want to say, "not dying with your music still in you" to quote Joseph Campbell (at least I think it was him ... its likely he was quoting some ancient sage when he said that, my Philosophy 101 is rusty).

So anyway, now, I'm doing what I want to do, and am having a blast!


Cool art -

© Vince Valdes, and /or The SF Chronicle

This is a property for sale in San Francisco. And this, specifically, is a mural gracing the stairway. How fabulous is this? I would love to know who the artist is.
(OK, you may not want this in your stairway, but framed and on a wall, yes? Well, I would.)

Back to work on my tomatoes. Hope you all have a lovely day.


CC said...

Just the question I've been asking myself. I used to enjoy illustrating a text, but all the concentration on drawing on computers, not to mention the lack of respect for drawing and painting by hand (along with all the other stuff we put up with these days) has all put killed my enthusiasm. I much prefer making jewelry and other things which continue to give me pleasure and activate my imagination.
As for the stairs painting, the vantage point is
wonderfully unnerving.... especially as I imagine the artiststanding on a ladder on the stairs to execute the painting must have had at least a small case of vertigo.

Marthann's Musings said...

I love your tomato. So curvy and soft. I have never seen one like it. You are doing a fantastic job. Your question is one I ask myself more often than I would like to admit. Matter of fact I said some similar things in a blog post a month or so ago. It is so hard to be just who we are suppose to be !!! You and your art are so amazing, you don't need to change a thing. Just go with who you feel is you.

Janet Pantry said...

Yes, I love the colours in your tomato - I LOVE tomatoes in all shapes and colours! And I do recognise what you are saying, Paula. I often take stacks of photos and then realise none of them 'feels' right, and then an idea seems to come out of the blue! When it feels right, it flows and it's great! Glad you're enjoying yourself!

That stairway pic is making me giddy the longer I stare at it - I agree though, great artwork! :)

Vicki Greene said...

You are doing a great job on your tomatos and I think that you will find that when you do what you love (as well done as your work is) that it will sell. Enjoy, it is beautiful!

Katherine Thomas said...

I love it! It's so creative and interesting!

Teresa Mallen said...

Beautiful Paula! (great stairway too)

Gin said...

How beautiful it would be to see a seed catalog filled with your wonderful fruits and vegetables! Or a gardening or recipe book...