Tag Archives: Bristol

Fancy Apple


Fancy-Apples_web Fancy Apple

11″x17″ Graphite on 2 ply Bristol.

This is the fifth of five fancy fruit renderings; all taken from memory, not from a still life set up.  As with the other four renderings, this a drawing of how I feel about the apple.  It is a fun fruit to eat, and memories of apple blossoms, apple slices, and fancy red attitudes accompany the pale yellow-white fruity insides.  How can you eat an apple without sensing its geometry?  What about its leaf, and stem, and skin?  An apple is so very firm in its universal image that even strange varieties are recognizable as apples.  Doesn’t every one have an opinion of this fruit? Green or red or brown or yellow, apples are the first fruit of memory.  “A is for apple!”

Having taught a number of art classes over the years, a favorite quote, (of my own) became a standard part of my daily diatribe. “If you can’t paint an apple to look like an apple – how do you expect to have people trust your dreams when you paint them?”  Now after many long years I realize that sometimes you can see from even a greatly abstracted form, the artist can paint their dreams or any thing they wish.  It is in the way they render that portrays, or better betrays their hidden skills.  It is not so much the moving of interests over time that keeps artists from painting their dreams, but more it is the changing of reasons to believe their work needs to be painted at all.  Once seen in the mind, we often move on to the next dream, only capturing few sketches and random individual works as evidence anything was going on in the first place.  It takes a lifetime to assemble a true picture of what the artist dreaming mind is doing, and then does it relate or have value?  Most recognized artists attend to building a body of work that is desirable to a consuming public.  The vast majority of artists do not achieve this or even attempt it; they just make art.  After they are gone, others gather up the mess and say “Look what this person was doing,” if anything.

Apples:    Apples are known to be a member of the rose family.

Apples are thought to date back 750,000 years.

25% of apples volume is air so they float.

Flushing, Long Island, was the location of the first orchard planted for commercial purposes, “1730.”

The average person eats 65 apples in a year.

The most popular apple varieties in the US are: The Red Delicious, the Golden Delicious and the Granny Smith.

There are 10 seeds on average in an apple.

50 leaves give their energy to produce one apple. 

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Fancy Oranges


fancy-oranges_web

Fancy Oranges 11″x17″ Graphite on 2 ply smooth Bristol.
Third of five images in Fancy Fruit renderings.
Sliced, wedged, or just peeled and eaten, oranges have a taste that looks like tangy fun. The sections have a texture, and the fruity meaty part have a different texture. The cell sections have a slight resistance to being bit into.  Fun to peel, fun to squeeze (but can be dangerous as choking hazards), oranges are not as much fun to hold as a banana, but are far more popular to compose in still life paintings.
The surface of an orange is hard to render because of its bumpy, dimpled complexion.  Most often, you will see one of two styles: a palette knife approach with broad, orange colored strokes defining shape and shadow, or a near photographic detailed painting showing off high skills in rendering.  Anything in between these two styles is usually including an orange as a part of a larger composition where the overall image is created, rather than the personality of the individual fruit.  I like all these styles too, but for my rendition of an orange it seemed to be more interesting to just make a black and white graphite image of a response to how they are perceived in memory.
Orange facts:
After chocolate and vanilla, orange is the world’s favorite flavor.
Oranges came to the New World in 1493, on the Christopher Columbus voyage II.  Of all the orange crop only about 20% are sold intact (whole). Orange juice, preserves, and extract comprise the rest.
Florida is the number one producer of oranges in the U.S. & number two in the world.
The name “orange” is not to name the color of the fruit. Originally, the Arabic word naranj was used to describe the fruit flavor.  In English (wrong word division), the word became narange, and over time lost the initial “n” and the a became an O in the 14 century.  Orange (the color of the fruit) was then used as a name for that color in 1540.  So, the color got its name from the fruit, not the other way around.
jmc/emc