Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Mourning Tea-new still life study by David Gough
11" x 14"
Acrylic on Canvas
Still life isn't something I ever felt a calling toward, but it doesn't hurt to occasionally stretch other muscles.
This quick study started out as an idea I had for something I wanted to ruminate on between the pages of my forthcoming book-Dead/Ends.
It's much better served I think as a quick study, which I've done in a semi-impressionist style for incongruity, but it deals with that thing we English have of procuring tea whenever there is news of a bereavement. Having been the recipient of such news and the obligatory brew, its always struck me as an odd juxtaposition-the cold chill of mortality served with a hot, sweet comfort of a tea in a delicate china cup-the forced civility of familiar rituals and table etiquette over human frailty and any potential social discomfort.
For such occasions, I've oft been tempted to craft a teapot from an skull, of course the various cracks and crevices of the dome would have to be plumbed to avoid leakage, but there the pot would sit amongst the doilies and china, grinning like....well death.
Here however-a black kettle will have to suffice-(because of course its a pot calling a...you got it), and as well as being a nod to my own artistic legacy, the skull having fallen (and oh how I delight in little symbolic gestures like that) there's that whole thing of a 'watched pot never boils', which could be as much about my artistic fortunes as anything.
And if there's any doubt sill left about my intent for this piece, there's the discarded pine cone, spent of its seed and looking for all the world like a lumpen, shriveled turd, either casting a reflection or staining the virgin white of the table cloth, depending on your preference.
Not bad for a mornings work.