March 26, 2008

"Oyster, Shell and Lemon"

Oil on archival, museum quality, 1/8” Ampersand Gessobord™ panel – 6” x 6”

These beauties were shucked at the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans. The lovely marble bar works well with the alabaster shell and soft flesh of the oyster. I took a few liberties refecting the hints of blue in the bar.

Back in February, twenty-six–year-old violin virtuoso David Garrett fell down a flight of stairs and landed on his violin case, which held a priceless Stradivarius. The violinist wasn’t badly hurt, but his instrument was not so lucky; upon opening the case, he found the violin in pieces. I had a similar experience recently. Well, perhaps not quite as devastating as crushing a priceless Stradivarius but just as debilitating to this artist; my palette knife finally gave up the ghost and broke from metal fatigue after 40 years of faithful service. Much has changed since I bought that first knife. As my painting brethren can tell you, mixing paint is crucial to a successful work of art. The feel and spring of a good palette knife becomes second nature. My dear old knife was Japanese. Its fine blade had the perfect shape, thinness and spring for the job. Although I did manage to find a close approximation of the shape, the new blade is Italian and is thicker than its predecessor. The spring is all wrong. I may have to try and find an old one on eBay.

In the words of Joni Mitchell -

“Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it's gone”


Jeff Mahorney said...

wow, this is a beautiful render of the oysters. You picked out those highlights just right. :)

Mark Adams said...

Thanks Jeff.

Oysters are fun to paint. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how cool it is to flick on those last few highlights. It lights up the painting and the illusion snaps into place. It is my favorite part of the dance.

Diane said...

sorry to hear about your faithful knife

Derek McCrea said...

I wll take one dozen raw and one dozen steamed, man this makes me hungry. Amazing works you have. Makes me miss my times with oils, but I love watercolors too much.