Pepper Shrimp #3


Oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″

Take 3 for the Pepper Shrimp: a night in the fridge had these fellas ready for a final shot at being painted, but as there were only three shrimp to work from I quickly painted two on the plate and one beside it, and then took the two off the plate, put them beneath it and painted again. It was a ferocious painting session as once again the ants came in their swarms, and the sun I had them placed in for the light was moving towards the horizon quickly, changing the highlights and shadow shapes; I hadn’t much time to make the most of it being ‘live’. Before the session was over I took photos, and then continued with them over the next few days to finish what was started.

I thought that by placing the plate with these shrimp they would look more like food and less like little monsters. I hope it worked….This plate has a history. Being enamel and with a slightly convex base, it could spin, and when my girls were little  would take it in turns (after serious negotiations and occasional tears) to eat their dinner off, spinning it throughout the meal with great delight.

The brushwork became quite thick and suggestive on this piece, which I’m glad for, but it happened because I had to keep self-correcting as I wasn’t drawing it properly – I enjoyed seeing the paint build up in abstract layers, and like the surface of it now. Oil paint is so forgiving. No more little critters for now though. Something without legs and a head with antennae makes for a more pleasing subject…


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