The other day, the radio was playing a music piece by Brahms. The announcer said that the composer worked on it for a time and then abandoned the work for something else. Yet the ideas from that work may have found its way into a finished work made later on in his career. Two days later I heard Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony”, another work abandoned by the composer. So, I was detecting a theme!
One thing I enjoy most about looking at art is finding the areas where the artist was “working it out” or perhaps even letting an idea be cast off into where-ever it goes. Perhaps we’ve all been present when a musician is playing something to our enjoyment and delight, then suddenly stops, laughs it off and says he was just “playing around”! By definition, a study would not be a work of art fully resolved. Rather, it’s a meandering of sorts, specific in certain areas while the other parts are dismissed. Here in this painting, the idea was to make a study of some arbitrary objects, arrange them and see what happens. The beets were resolved to the point that I almost feel the weight of them. Yet their leaves, rendered specifically, are languid and laying back. The squash gives a good shot of color, while the tea pot stands in good support of the rest. This triad works together, unified and confident, though the arrangement is set on an undetermined background.
At some point I decided to leave the painting as is without attention to anything else other than the primary objects. There are compositional and painterly elements that intrigue me, and so for the sake of enjoying the work as it is right now, (and the beets) I stopped, … so I could just look at it. I needed to remind myself, it is a study, after all!