Heroic Pots

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These are sketches for what I plan to make into a series of large-scale drawings and paintings of kitchen ware. Since I’ve been cooking a lot, and getting excited about the different kinds of pots and pans and implements, it occurred to me that this is the sort of thing that would make an interesting statement. When I say large scale, I mean at least three foot square.

So much of what I’ve created for the last several years has been abstract, it is interesting to delve back into the world of direct and intense observation.  One learns a different kind of lesson from observation than from abstraction, yet somehow the emotional satisfaction does not change.

The other day I was in a conversation with someone about Monet, and how his works are so interesting because they render the light of a certain time of day so exquisitely, thereby evoking emotions in the audience.

In these sketches I’m playing with how different lights and colors affect the personal impact of these objects.  The green renderings of the skillet are so much more cheerful than the pencil sketch, and they have more visual impact, though they are perhaps less evenly rendered.  And the red sketch of the Le Creuset pot is both tonally and emotionally warmer and more inviting.

So, why pots?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what marks gender and how we value it.  When Courbet painted everyday people in the fields, it caused an uproar because until then all the large scale paintings had been made of military heroes.  The idea that a giant canvas would heroize the common man in that way was shocking.  What had the common farmer done to deserve such laudatory treatment?

In the same way, I want to elevate the work that women do, in this case cooking, to a highly lauded position.  Thus the title for the entry: Heroic Pots.  These are still small, and the finished ones will probably contain food, and not just be pots, but this is the first stage of ideation.

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