Pink Orchids at Hampton Court Flower Show
Watch the video below of me glazing Pink Orchids at Hampton Court Flower Show:
I was terribly sick with a tropical disease called leishmaniasis for three months beginning in November last year. I believe it was provoked by an overdose of antibiotics given me after I’d had a boil lanced. It all spiraled downwards to the point that I was about to die several days after Christmas, so at the behest of my good friend Keith Williamson I checked myself into hospital here in Catalunya. I had to be hospitalized for the entire month of January.
I’m out now, and I made this painting for my very kind neighbor Dr. Jon Ubick, who has helped me tremendously over the past two months, for which I am very grateful.
Pink Orchids at Hampton Court Flower Show seems to me to be influenced by my recent acquisition of a complete van Gogh monograph by Taschen. I’ve been looking at his paintings - especially the later ones - and I think the overall effect of the broad brush strokes in his paintings subconsciously caused me to manifest a not dissimilar aesthetic in this painting.
In fact, I became so enthralled with van Gogh’s paintings that I paid two data analysts to assess which traditional French canvas size (see image below) van Gogh used the most in the last two years of his life — and it turned out my guess was right — it was size 30F (‘F’ for ‘figure’) or 92 X 73 cm. I’d also found a blog post referencing no less than three letters from Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo stating that he was using French canvas sizes 15F, 20F, 25F and 30F. Following are links to the van Gogh letters which suggest he used 30F the most: Letter 1, Letter 2, and Letter 3. Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auvers_size_30_canvases
And here’s a collated data analysis of the dimensions of Vincent van Gogh’s last 413 paintings - all of the known paintings he did during the last two years of his life 1888-1890 — which I consider his strongest period. Note the Most Common Size field at the top: It shows that his most common French canvas sizes were 30F followed by 20F.
I buy my canvases pre-stretched from Barna Art in Barcelona, and they adhere to making canvas stretchers in the French tradition - which is known on the Continent as the “international measure” or “international dimensions” for canvases. Following are images of Barna Art’s canvas size chart. Notice it corresponds exactly with the antique chart pictured above. I just ordered a number of 30F-sized canvases because the size is not too big, not too small.
This is the first finished painting on which I’ve stamped my logo on the back of the canvas (see images):