Friday, May 11, 2007



CITRUS
is this week's theme at Illustration Friday. Making me realize that although I am a still-life painter, I very rarely paint citrus. I find limes and citrons useful little notes of color, added to a larger painting, but rarely are they the focus. Here is the one piece I could dig up that fits the bill, a painting of grapefruit. They were waxed to a high gloss, and I was fascinated by both their shiny surface and the feeling of weight: heavy and juicy. I was looking at a book about William Bailey when I painted this and you can see I am indebted to him for the color scheme.

My ten-year-old son H just walked by and said "Why are you posting that to your Illustration blog? That's a painting not an illustration!" Yikes, this topic is too big for me to even know how to begin to reply to it. My brain frantically fumbled around for a moment and then I said "Well, people think some illustrations are art, and paintings are certainly art, so maybe paintings and illustrations are sort of the same, too. Sometimes. " He looked a little confused by that (so was I, truth be told.) Then he shrugged and said "OK, Mom, whatever!" Whew, saved by quick thinking up of baffling art theory! I'll be writing for ArtForum any day now.

Plate of Grapefruit oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches 2003

18 comments:

mike r baker said...

Hey, Nancy! I certainly believe illustration is art. And there's no reason your art couldn't be an illustration! I so love your still lifes. You are a great painter.

Connie McLennan said...

Hi, Nancy. Nice palette; I like the crease in the tablecloth.
For future reference, remember this art (snob) rule: a painting may be an illustration, but an illustration can never, ever be "Art." For further elaboration, read Brad Holland's commentary at this link. Scroll down to the heading, "That's Not Art, That's Illustration".

Brandi said...

Amazing as usual - I love the detail on the vase!

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Your painting is exquisite! I'm very, very impressed. I've been reading "The Business Of Illustration" and it just started talking about the difference. One point was an illustration is for someone else, whereas fine art is purely for the artist. But, I'm still confused.

Emila Yusof said...

Great painting, Nancy!

studio lolo said...

Exquisite painting, well illustrated! There, I've covered both. I did a mural for the town of Carmel 3 years ago and one of the people on the arts committee said "She's not an artist, she's an illustrator. Why was she chosen to do it?" I was hurt, furious and overall flabbergasted that some people still feel this way. So now I describe myself as an artist who loved to do illustrations as well as paint. I dunno :)

Momma Pajama said...

Hi Nancy! Beautiful! I don't think I've seen this one before on your website? J and I love grapefruit, no one else will touch them, so we happily split them at breakfast!

I'm taking advantage of the fact that the men are out of town a couple days to take over the dining room table and paint a still life for this week's "Citrus" theme. It IS nice to use a model and not a photo! Hope to get it up by Monday.

leah said...

Nancy - illustration/fine art/whatever - this is a gorgeous painting. you made the fruit look juicy - truly a feat. also, the complexity of the colors of the shadows in the tablecloth is amazing!

md said...

u might not do digi well yet but u sure do hold ur own when it comes to painting, beautiful stuff.

Kathleen Rietz said...

Nancy, this is beautiful! I love your painting titled "After The Meal" on another one of your sites. It is my favorte. You are very talented.

Sarah said...

Hi Nancy, Well once upon a time all paintings were illustrations and all artists were illustrators (this is my stock answer when people look at me askance because I want to be an illustrator, rather than a 'fine' artist - though I like doing other stuff too. My definition of an illustration is 'an image which responds to, illuminates and enhances understanding of, a text'. Okay I'll stop now. Nancy I think this painting is exquisite, the palette is gorgeaous, and those fruits are indeed shiny and heavy with juice.

get zapped said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. I truly love the color scheme. Your work is fabulous!

Michelle Lana said...

Wow!!! This is super!!! Great and awesome work!

Rachelle said...

Very pretty!

I totally disagree with the illustrators not being artists thing. Mucha is my favorite artist and most of his work were illustrations used in advertisements but his work is gorgeous and well done. I'd be tempted to backhand the person that says he wasn't an artist. ;)

GORILLUSTRATOR said...

Great painting Nancy, love that sharp crease in the tablecloth and the fruit looks great.

Greg Hartman said...

Amazing detail, I too like the tables fabric, the vase, the high gloss of the fruit...okay, I like all of it! Great job! Yeah, that's a pretty sujective subject...I'm partial to the idea that it can enhance text and I suppose that too is a fine line.

Chrissie A said...

This is just beautiful, Nancy! I admire your painting skills...you have a terrific blog. I've added you to my google reader list so I'll know when you've updated. :)

P.Sarah. K said...

This is a grt painting..How do u do it??..awesome..