Monday, December 3, 2012

Bittersweet Study

Bittersweet This will be my last Twelve by Twelve challenge. Sweet is thus bittersweet for me. So, I'm currently exploring ways to express the word or feeling. I thought it almost wonderfully symmetrical that something like bittersweet chocolate could be my last challenge piece when Chocolate was one of our first. It was second though, so it's not quite as elegant as I would hope. Anyway, I was also unaware that there is a climbing vine called Bittersweet. There are actually several varieties, first being Bittersweet Nightshade from Europe with it's lovely ovoid red berries and purple flowers, and the second being American Bittersweet named for it's resemblance to the former, but having a wonderful trefoil orange husk. American Bittersweet In addition to my usual word association scribbles in my working sketchbook, I've decided to draw some of the more literal bittersweets. This drawing/painting is totally overworked and tortured, but the point of making it was to explore the plant, it's colors, and shapes. I may harvest elements for my Twelve by Twelve piece, I may not. Nine more days to pull something together.

11 comments:

Terry Grant said...

Bittersweet, indeed. I love your painting, parts of which are not at all tortured! The color palette is wonderful--quite bittersweet in itself.

Deborah Boschert said...

I love the tiny white details!

Brenda Gael Smith said...

What a moody painting!

Dotti said...

I love the play on 12x12 in the first painting between the berries and the word. I have been following you all since the beginning. Each artist brings her own diversity of style to this challenge, and you will indeed be missed!

Lisa Quintana said...

Love it. Where did you grow up? Bittersweet is common in the midwest and in Virginia, although a third type of Bittersweet, Japanese Bittersweet or oriental bittersweet is an invaisive species which is growing rampant in some areas and pushing out the natives...and strangling trees. :( I love the red berries....and your sentiment! Nicely done!

Françoise said...

Love your painting, especially the details of the fruits.
I read that in French, this plant is called something like "trees executionner"! Not so sweet indeed.

Kristin L said...

I grew up in Southern California where there are few winter berries of any sort. Now that I am in Virginia though, I'll keep my eye out. On a hike we were marveling at some twisty vines which in retrospect could well be that oriental 'tree executioner" variety of bittersweet. (Thanks Françoise for the great name!)

Terri Stegmiller said...

Totally overworked and tortured??? I must be strange then, because I really like it!

Gerrie said...

I have bittersweet drying for winter color. I have always loved it. I have a hard time hearing about the end of our journey. Maybe if I don't finish my Sweet piece, it won't be the end. This could happen. And, I agree with Terri.

Diane Perin Hock said...

Kristin, your study is lovely -- and I love the triangles in the background, the mix of oranges and purples and browns -- elegantly composed. It doesn't look overworked or tortured to me at all! This would make such a beautiful big quilt.

You've reminded me that when I lived in New Hampshire, there was a huge bank of bittersweet around the clump of mailboxes where I got my mail. I loved it and would cut branches of it for my kitchen table. Thank you for reviving a nice memory!

Lisa Quintana said...

In Virginia, it is more likely to be Kudzu strangling trees...and watch out for the Poison Ivy! They vine up trees and are histimine producing even if they don't have leaves! The oil is in the vine as well. Capt. John Smith wrote about poison ivy growing in vines as thick as your arm....although I have seen it slightly bigger than my thumb....and you DON'T want to touch it.