The Pear – what happens when you paint in ‘flow’
Sometimes work we love seems to happen effortlessly. This pear is that kind of work.
I had just finished a series of large oil paintings that blurred the sensuous lines between fruit and human form.
Using the last of the paint on my pallet, I made the pear.
Without forethought or drawing, it emerged all of a piece. Its succulent curves a perfect summary of every idea I’d worked on in the oils.
Working in ‘flow’
I was in ‘flow’ when I painted the pear. Flow is the timeless sense of being completely absorbed by something you feel clear and confident about doing. The ‘something’ needs to be an end in itself, worth doing for its own sake. It also needs to be sufficiently challenging to command all of your focus and energy.
Painting my ‘nude fruit’ series had been both these things. Although the pear felt spontaneous, in fact, it distilled everything this period of work had taught me about drawing the female form.
It’s now what my wife calls ‘property of the household’ and hangs in our kitchen in France.
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