Saturday, October 21, 2006
The Last Tomato
Today's painting is of the last tomato in the house, but it didn't start that way.
After a late start and an afternoon of chores, I had procrastinated on the Daily Painting enough and needed to get out and paint. So I collected up my backpack, pochade, and tripod and set off down our road to the creek, thinking about some rapids that I wanted to use as a motif. I forgot the camera, so I hesitated halfway down the road and decided that not having it would give me incentive to complete the painting on site without finishing up back at the house. It was around 6 pm and the light was going to fade fast.
A little further on, I saw a dog walk out on the road about 75 yards away (I'm not really good with distance estimates.) I expected some of the neighbors were around the corner. The "dog" stopped and froze. I decided it was a small deer, but it did not look right. Then I froze. This was not a deer, it looked like a big cat/dog with no tail. I could not see it clearly enough, but it was bigger than I expected a cat to be and it didn't have a dog-like tail.
Now, the hairs on my neck started to rise and we looked at each other. I backed up a few steps because I figured turning my back on a predator would be bad and it kept watching me. (Next time, I will take a picture with the camera I didn't have with me.) Finally, after a few more heavy heartbeats, I shouted. It jumped away, definitely moving like a cat.
I took a trip back to the house to gather my nerves and get the camera. Then I went back down to the creek. After some more hair raising and an abortive attempt to paint, I gave up as the light left.
Back at home, I decided to paint that cat. My sketches were not matching my memory. Larry Seiler would be able to pull it off, but I could not capture that cat standing in the dim forest road. I can only guess it was a lynx or bobcat.
So, I decided on a nice straightforward still life. This is it. The last tomato on the vine and in the house.
5" X 7" Oil on panel.