Brubeck, Alessi, and Zeke’s

My dad got me into Brubeck when I was in high school (though it might have had something to do with those Infiniti commercials in the 90’s), and I often listen to him while I’m working. It seemed fitting to put him on while getting a little deeper into the Alessi percolator and bag of Zeke’s coffee. Paul Desmond’s clarinet and alto sax lines go so well with the stroke of a brush. I have found that listening to music while painting helps me stay patient and not overwork areas while they are still wet, which is something I did with the birdhouse over the weekend.

After preliminary composition sketches last week, I wanted to try a basic view of the objects themselves to get a better handle on the shapes and reflections. I worked on a square block of arches, so I went with a vignetted centered composition for now. We’ll see if it should be developed further beyond this sketch. Below are staged photos of progress.

It was interesting to note how the blue changes color in the reflection, taking on some of the aluminum’s color as well, thus muting it a bit. I also liked the raw sienna reflection of the table top outside of the composition infiltrating the picture. Maybe it is all a bit too blotchy and exaggerated to be a finished work, but for tonight, I am pretty satisfied with what I got out of this more in depth sketch.

Thanks for reading.

Stage 1–Drawing and first wash:


Stage 2:


Stage 3–Finished sketch:



2 thoughts on “Brubeck, Alessi, and Zeke’s

  1. davidtripp April 10, 2013 / 11:51 pm

    Very nice work! I was preparing to head for bed when your post came over my BlackBerry. I had to go power my computer back on and have a look. I did a few watercolor sketches and paintings including a stovetop percolator awhile back, and got really engrossed in the reflection patterns on the surface, just as you are. The Imagism excites me–no ideas but in things. And I’m fascinated to hear how Brubeck affects your disposition while you paint. I too love to listen to music as I paint in the Man Cave. Sometimes I put on some old VHS tapes of Joseph Campbell lecturing on James Joyce. I also listen to old VHS documentaries of Willem De Kooning, Andrew Wyeth and Robert Motherwell. I like how my mind drifts in and out of the conversations while my eye focuses on the composition before me.

    I’m fascinated with the way in which music and literature permeate your art and how easily you discuss the connections between them. It obviously gives you great joy.

    I’m glad I saw this before retiring to bed. Perhaps I’ll go to school tomorrow in a livelier mood.

    Thanks for posting it.

    • coreyaber April 11, 2013 / 7:10 pm

      Thanks David. I am enjoying your comments and encouragement. I am glad you’ve been enjoying my posts.

      I will have to look for the lecture on Joyce. I have been meaning to devote some attention to Joyce, but stopped with Dubliners years ago. A different entry point might help. I was looking at Joyce through the lens of Irish lit, and preferred Brendan Behan and Christy Brown then because of their more straightforward style.

      Regarding imagism, as I was rereading Calvino’s Six Memos yesterday, I found a great bit in his memo on quickness that I thought you would enjoy. He recounts the tale of Charlemagne and a magic ring. The ring is really the protagonist of the story, and it sparks Calvino on some interesting musings on the importance of objects in literature. The best quote there that made me think of you and imagism was this: “we might even say that in a narrative any object is always magic.” Is that true in art? If you have a chance to get the book I highly recommend it.

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