The starting point for my new set-up was some bundled garlic I grew last summer. It wouldn’t stand up on it’s own, so I tacked it to my backdrop by its string. Since I have natural light available for a few months, I decided to use it! I opened up the blinds in my studio and used no spotlight. I was bored with the drawing board I’ve been using for a tabletop, so I used the lid of an antique paint box. For more drama, I created a ‘wall’ with a wood box on the left side to cast a shadow. Now that I had the stage set with the main player, I contemplated it for a while to think what else I needed. The set-up so far suggested simplicity and austerity to me (similar to the old Spanish still lifes I love so much). I decided to keep all of the objects similar in form and color. I chose more garlic and some onions. Keeping with the theme of simplicity, I arranged the onions and single garlic to continue the arc of the garlic bundle. So far, so good! I still can’t decide which arrangement I like better, the one in the top photo with the white onion leaning to the right, or the one underneath, with the onion slanting the other way. I’m ‘leaning’ towards the bottom one. I also think that the white onion could be a bit bigger. The final issue is whether I want the white garlic to be the focal point or the garlic bundle. As it stands, the strong value contrast between the white garlic and the tabletop draws the most attention to the white garlic. If I want to emphasize the garlic bundle, I’ll have to get more contrast there, or tone down the contrast between the white garlic and the table (or both). Another option is to use a darker, more purple garlic in place of the white one to tone down the contrast. I’ll finalize all of this tomorrow, and order my canvas so I can get started. The sooner the better, as my studio now smells strongly of 9-month old garlic!