One of my projects here in Paris is to round out Daily Pleasures, my still life show for September. It’s hanging an alarmingly brief time after I return home (Playhouse schedules by the school year, so if you’re the first or second show, there’s not a lot of warning, and I already had my travels set.) I visited my frame builder before I left, picked out a frame to go with these tiny gouache pieces (I had already done two I liked, so I knew it would be a good fit for the show) and arranged to make my frame order the last week I’m here so they’ll ready to go when I get home. That way I can see how many and what size pieces I end up with. I love oils, but gouache is much easier for traveling.
I started with a big watercolor study in my sketchbook, which I had fun with. I really enjoyed doing some flow-y watercolors in Reims. I used it as a study to do a gouache of the same composition, but that one really fell flat. Working gouache-sized the scale was wrong, too small for the paper. I wrestled with it for a while, and finally I started over without the teapot and with a simpler composition that suits the size of the objects to the size of the paper. I’ll keep looking at the first one (below) just in case, but I came to feel that I was throwing good paint after bad by continuing to work on it. I’m much happier with the simpler piece.