A Bowl of Cherries and White’s Woods

Dec 6, ‘14

As creative beings we must learn, and therefore practice, patience.

Julia Cameron

A wet and rainy day here today with gray skies and 37 degrees a bit before noon.  A good day to sleep-in, which I’ve done.    A good day to laze about and have another cuppa coffee, and peruse the news on Facebook, which I’ve also done.

The light is so gray I decided not to apply paint to old paintings but to remove a few muddy layers on these two.  When they’re dry and some day when the sun is shining, I’ll do more work.



Cherries, Blue Bowl BEFORE



This small painting of cherries in a bowl on an embroidered cloth was done in June ’05, while I still lived on South Lake St.    I don’t remember much about the why’s and wherefore’s of this particular painting because at that point in my life, I always had a painting or two in process at the same time.  All of these items are familiar and have been used often in my work.  I still have the cloths and the bowl but the remaining artificial cherries are few because they were objects of delight to past and present cats who stole them from setups, played with them until they were lost under the stove or refrigerator and then stole the remainders in the same way and to the same purpose.  First Rollo and Fidel (who both died in ’08) and now, Albert.

The murkiness I see in this painting doesn’t show up at all well in the photo, but trust me, it was there.  I held the painting under running warm water in the kitchen sink and then wiped off much of the paint from the bowl, through the cherries and all the way to the top of the painting.  I didn’t touch the two cherries and the cloth in the foreground.  To dry the painting, I placed it in the oven, which is always warm-ish because of the pilot light.


Barn, White’s Woods Memorial Center, Litchfield CT, BEFORE



I don’t recall exactly what year this was done but I do remember that it was a day in early spring that was warm, sunny and without wind.  The grass was turning green and trees were sprouting new leaves.  There were bright yellow dandelions blossoming in the brown and green grasses of the lawn.  By car, this spot was 5 minutes from where I lived and I went there often, in all weather.  On this particular occasion, I brought a lawn chair and planted  myself in a sunny spot on the wide lawn seeing how there was no need to sit in my car to keep warm and out of the wind.  Because this is a large painting and would need a few hours work, I brought a thermos of coffee and my lunch.  I brought my Walkman and ear buds and a tape to listen to but after I placed an earbud in one ear, I didn’t turn on the tape, just worked happily, listening to Birdsong, which was rampant seeing as how it was an exhilarating spring day, seemingly for every living thing.  I often used my Walkman to make it appear as if I was absorbed in the music as that discouraged visits from passers-by from interrupting or startling me at a bad time.

There were blue birds at this spot on that day, there often were.  The first memory that sprang up when I came across this painting, was the bluebirds, the picnic, the sun and the scattered dandelions in the grass that I saw that day.

This scene is at the Center of the White’s Woods Memorial Foundation.  White’s Woods are to Litchfield and the surrounding area what Central Park is to NYC.


The barn was a problem that day and to this.  My perspective was ‘off’ and the sloppy application of paint made it worse.  What I did this morning to change the barn was to wet down the entire barn area with clean water, let it sit for awhile and then worked off excess paint with a tissue and a few Q-tips.  And a few more applications of clean water….

The next step is to let these paintings dry and then take on the task of fixing them to my satisfaction.

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4 Responses to A Bowl of Cherries and White’s Woods

  1. beetleypete says:

    Good to have a task to tackle on a rainy day Gretchen. I checked out the link, and the country park looks like a great place to spend some time. I smiled at the tactic of pretending to be listening ti your Walkman…
    I will look forward to seeing the result of your restoration on these paintings.
    Best wishes as always, Pete.

  2. suej says:

    Sounds like a great rainy day activity… Love that barn image, and looking forward to seeing the restoration!

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