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Beauty in the Ordinary

Reds and Greens: Three Green Pears


This painting is another example of experimenting with the colors, red and green, in the composition. In addition to having fun with the juxtaposition of red and green, there is also the play of placing pears in an unusual arrangement in the mid-ground and background, as well as placement of objects on the edge of the canvas.

Another aspect of play was pointing the table edge toward the center of the canvas in order to explore how to express the three-dimensionality of that edge using only varying values of red paint. The color red is perceived by the human eye differently than other colors. (For an interesting explanation of this, read the National Park Service’s article on Dark Adaptation of the Human Eye and the Value of Red Flashlights.) Because of this peculiarity in how our eyes function, it is a challenge to paint red in lighter values: how to express a range of values, that is, light and dark variations of the color, when these colors already appear dark?

You can practice artful awareness in the midst of your day by recognizing nuances of visual perception such as this!

Three Green Pears, original oil on canvas, 12″ x 6″, framed

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Original oil painting by Seamus Berkeley