Some paintings flow and some are a struggle. This one was repainted 4 times.
I was most interested in the space between the two pears and wanted to focus on the movement between the two. So I started with optimism and two underripe bosc pears against a medium blue background. The background was all wrong. So I painted it dark purple and repainted the pears. Even more wrong. Then I painted the background red, twice, to make it the color of my bathroom wall. And repainted the pears two more times. Each time I liked the pears less. A lot less.
Then the painting sat, forlorn, on a side easel for a week or more. I thought about putting it in the garbage can. Meanwhile the two bosc pears continued to ripen, I used them in another painting, then moved them back to my kitchen windowsill.
This week dozens of delicious pears have come and gone from my kitchen. I put pears in a spinach salad dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar and pink Himalayan salt. Sunday evening I made the world's best pear crisp. Last night my cousin's daughter cooked pears to make a cake. But these two sat, still ripening, untouched.
So this morning I carried them back down to the studio and painted them one more time. This time I left the tomato soup background alone and tried to bring the pears up to the intensity of the red. The pears had ripened and lost their undertone of green and have a deep, vivid undertone. I mixed golden ochre, cadmium red and cadmium yellow into various combinations and repainted the pears one more time.
This may not be my best painting, but it's done.