Friday, July 24, 2015

Devil's Garden

Devil's Garden. Oil on panel, 8" x 8".

About the drink:
This is another one from our own tasting crew, and a delicious one it is! Tom Musselwhite, famous for his one-and-you're-done, all-booze cocktails, surprised the hell out of me with this complex, herbaceous twist on a whiskey sour. Or some kind of Manhattan. Or both. In any case, it is absolutely right up my alley (intentionally, perhaps?).  Inspired by a recipe he found online, Tom experimented until he had something that may or may not even remotely resemble the original drink. Basil-infused simple syrup, vermouth, lime juice, bay leaf and a topping of Iron Goat Goatmeal Stout add a balanced complexity to two ounces of 100-proof Rittenhouse Rye. Mmmm.

About the painting:
This one had been rolling around in my head for a while as I worked on other projects. I was excited to include all the leafy bits, since leaves have kind of been my thing for a while. I knew I wanted some of the leaves to hang down for a spooky, live-oak-in-a-southern-garden effect. But that was about all I had. When I went to paint it, I found I had exactly the glass that Tom had used to serve the drink, as well as the perfect backdrop in another William Morris calendar page (thanks Mom!). The leaves worked out exactly as planned to balance the composition Everything seemed to fall together. Except it looked boring. Until, I did the unthinkable… I moved my light to the other side of the still life stage. I'm sure other artists do this daily, but through over a year of still life painting I have kept my light on the left side. Probably this was due to laziness, but for whatever reason, I will not make that mistake in the future. When I moved the light, this formerly boring setup sprang to life, and inspired me to very quickly paint one of my favorite pieces to date. I love it when a plan comes together!