A painting a day: #20, Bullseye

If you haven’t kept up with this project, here’s a quick summary: I did the first 12 paintings all on the same big sheet of paper. Those were all fairly realistic still lifes. For the second sheet of paper, I’m doing more free/abstract reworkings of all the paintings from the first sheet. The idea is that since the first sheet gave me practice in rendering objects accurately from life, the second sheet will be practice in painting freely, without so much care for the way things really look.

I had a lot of fun brainstorming how I would do this revision. If you remember the original, that painting was already a strange piece: an odd subject, and a huge departure from the previous installments. I suppose once you take something that’s already weird and intriguing, and decide to experiment with it further, it’s very liberating; it really feels like there’s no way to go wrong.

I decided I wanted this painting to be shaped like a circle, and from there it was an easy jump to concentric circles (a nod to Kandinsky, perhaps?). I made a pencil sketch first, without a compass (because there wasn’t one, but honestly I think it looks cooler a little imperfect), and then began filling in the rings. As it turned out, the sauces on the original arrangement were all placed at a slightly different distance from center, so I ordered the rings accordingly.


At first I wasn’t sure whether I would texture the sauces that were textured in the original, but I decided to go for a slightly abstract texture. I’m especially pleased with the orange-cranberry spread (fifth ring from center).


I think this might be my favorite revision yet, because it stands so well alone and yet seems to me a perfect riff on the original.

Side-by-side comparison: