Influence of the week: Charles Demuth
Please get yourself to MoMA and see American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe. Who knew that Georgia used watercolor to paint trains, Charles Burchfield was from Buffalo, and that Demuth created amazing watercolor still lifes? Eggplant and Tomatoes has influenced this painting of my rambunctious cat, Lily. I love how Demuth has handled the negative spaces and allowed himself to leave wide portions of the background unworked. It’s not about painting in the details, and Lily on a Mission is an attempt to work in this way. Once too many details crept in, however, and I decided to sign the painting and stop. When I get a decent photograph of Lily’s sister, Gigi—black cats are a challenge to photograph—I’ll try this again.
My small-town Brooklyn house is from the same time period as many of the works in the MoMA show and architectural features that show up in the paintings and photographs are familiar. Here, Lily is thinking about her pounce from the Stickley settee in the Mission-style parlor.
Who knew that there’s a museum dedicated to Demuth in Lancaster, PA?
Watercolor and graphite
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 10″ x 14″