The Collectors who loaned me the Japanese basket for my recent painting were kind enough to lend me another! After that painting was finished, I swore that I wasn’t going to ever try to draw (let alone paint!) such a complicated thing again. Well, here I am! I just love the rustic shapes, the warm colors and the complexity these baskets have. This one is more loosely woven than the last. If it’s lit right, the background should show through the interstices.

At this point, I had no idea what else would be in the painting. The first thing I did was to set it down on the table and shine a light on it. Then I sat back and looked. I definitely wanted to be able to see some light through the weave of the bamboo, so I think I’ll have a light background. Also, the cast shadows are intriguing, so I’ll want to see some of those. To make it different from the last basket painting, I tried placing it on the left side of the composition. Also, in the last painting, the background was very dark. I’m curious to see what the basket will look like against a lighter background.

I found a bird’s nest in my garden a few weeks ago, and it’s been sitting outside my front door on a bench. It caught my eye as I was going into the studio to work. I thought it’d look great with the basket. It does! The man-made rustic basket harmonizes very well with the bird-made nest. My next thought was that I needed something smooth and shiny as a contrast. I tried the green glass bowl. I added the brown box on the left to create a ‘wall’ for the cast shadow to be cast onto.

Above, I’ve added a brown box to give the green bowl some height and stature. Also, I framed the composition more vertically.

Above, I’ve framed it more horizontally. I think the composition looks more suited to the vertical.

I opened up the box of wooden blocks for some more interest.

The set-up was looking very warm and orange, so I put up a piece of textured Japanese rice paper against the wall in a cooler tone. My paintings are usually warm, so this looks very different to me. I think I like it, though. Now, the green of the bowl brings out a greenish quality in the nest.

I think I’ll stop for now, and live with this set-up for a while. Tomorrow, I’ll try something different. I can always set this one up again if I decide I like it. I just have to be careful moving the nest. It’s very fragile!