Apple and Containers – acrylic painting

It is absurd to look for perfection, by Camille Pissarro

Mr. Pissarro understood, something I need to keep in mind.  Whenever I can’t seem to get the results I expect from a painting, I only need to remember his words.  My goal should be to let the experience of creating art take me on a journey of learning and growing ~

Apples and Containers (8×10), an acrylic painting, was done on a gesso-prepared hard board.  The textured background was created by using a painters knife.  This was an interesting challenge, given that the colors were so closely aligned I had to rely on getting the values right so the elements would come front and center.  I was a bit timid with my darks, but realized they were important to the overall structure of the painting.  I loved painting the fabric – a beautiful piece of peach-colored linen.

The painting is much sharper in person than the image here, but I think you get the idea.  Thank you for visiting ~

Please don’t take my images – my art is copyrighted.

Please don’t copy or use the image without receiving my permission first – see disclosure on the right panel.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Acrylic Paintings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Apple and Containers – acrylic painting

  1. I love the warmth of this painting, Mary. It’s really lovely. 🙂

  2. GP Cox says:

    You haven’t been around, so I came to you!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you GP, and I hope to return soon – appreciate that you took the time to write. Hope you are well and writing up a storm. Thanks again.

  3. one girl, one journey. says:

    Absolutely beautiful x

  4. Pissaro’s quote is right on the money…..There is no such thing as human perfection and so yes if we can understand that. we can be freed up to do so much more…..I love this image it shows your mastery and at the same time great enjoyment in the moment. Janet 🙂 x

    • Mary says:

      Thank you my friend – it was a wonderful scene to paint. I really enjoyed working with the texture of the surface – these acrylics are great fun. Hope this finds you well and having a wonderful Spring!

      • Thank you Mary. Thus far our weather has not been very spring like, but it will arrive soon. I am off to Portugal on the 18th for my weeks workshop and then on the 3rd May one month on the east coast …..a busy year. Happy painting Janet 🙂

  5. thepainter says:

    A very warm palette and really nicely balanced!

  6. Hi Mary!🙋‍♀️ such a long time since I’ve seen you! I love this piece. It turned out really beautiful! I always have a hard time with darks too.

  7. Cecilia says:

    You have a wonderful talent. This is so beautiful! Thank you and greetings.

  8. dsaquarelles says:

    I like so much the warm colours.

  9. Paul Beech says:

    Lovely painting, Mary. To me it has a French impressionist feel.

    I like the Pissarro quote too, but guess perfectionism is an absurdity all of us in the arts are given to. When is a painting, poem or anything else truly perfect? What is perfect? You’re right of course: we should always treat the journey as a learning experience and enjoy it. Let’s not forget that imperfection is a key component in the traditional Japanese aesthetic ‘Wabi-Sabi’.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2018,


  10. fine_art_society says:

    Best panting

  11. Jane Lurie says:

    Gorgeous colors and textures, Mary. I love how you painted the light on the vessels. Beautiful work.

  12. Resa says:

    I adore the warmth of this painting. Mary, I love when you paint glass! It seems kind of like magic that you can use paint, which is solid and come out with something clear. You make still life very appealing.
    I’m working on a post for a friend of mine who is an artist. He went blind about 20 years ago, but has continued to paint. It is proving very interesting to work on a visual project with someone who is blind. It’s like I have to paint with my words when describing what I’m doing.

    • Mary says:

      Resa you are so gracious in your feedback, can’t thank you enough. Very interesting about your artist friend, reminds me of Monet (his paintings took on a vibrancy and were abstract in nature when he went blind – all different from his original pieces, but stunning none-the-less). I’m looking forward to seeing your post about his work ~ thanks again Resa!

  13. Dear Mary, hello! I love the quote. I am totally digging your apple series. The fabric wall paint (or paper) is also gorgeous. You still life works are never still. Jumping with life, always. Vibrating and radiating, too.
    Happy New Year!!

    • Mary says:

      Happy to see you Theadora – hope 2018 is treating you well. Thank you for your oh so generous comments and compliments toward this painting. I did enjoy painting this piece ~ thank you for coming along for the ride my friend!!

  14. I love that statement striving for perfection takes away the pleasure. Beautiful painting Mary 🌹

  15. Lots of different surfaces and textures you’ve included there. Very challenging, but you’ve risen to it as always Mary!

  16. Alok Singhal says:

    It looks sharp! I would have added a green stem to the apple (like you did with the yellow apple).

    • Mary says:

      Hi Alok, thanks very much for your comments and observations – a green stem would work well in this painting. Thanks for the suggestion!

  17. restlessjo says:

    The colours and textures are wonderful, Mary! Hope 2018 is going well for you. 🙂 🙂

  18. Leya says:

    The closely aligned colours and beautiful texture make this painting stand out as Harmony itself. Love it. And, the quote is perfect (pun intended). I know, I know…but concerning art, we still look for perfection even if we never can reach it…

  19. Novus Lectio says:


  20. Pissaro’s comment is so right on……..I often remind myself that life is not a race – it’s not about trying to be perfect (because there is no such thing) it is about experiencing to the full our creative journey and learning all the time from the process. Thank you for reminding me of this. Another superb image. Glad to see that your creative juices are flowing. janet 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Good morning Janet, hope you are well today. Glad you enjoyed the painting, thank you for your kind comments. When I read Pissaro’s quote it really struck me that sometimes I miss the boat and need to be reminded to enjoy the creative journey, and for this painting it was a very good time.

      • My friend Mick the photographer who went to art school with me, was saying over the Xmas holidays that as he had made his living from photography for many years, he was now ready to get back to basics again… have fun. I think it’s very important. I wish for you a wonderfully creative day. Janet 🙂

  21. ladyfi says:

    I love the colours!

  22. Nice painting, I like the tan and orange colours.

  23. Kathy LaCorte says:

    I love it Mary! The glass jars are really good.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kathy, thanks so much for visiting cousin – I appreciate your feedback!! The glass was a bit of a challenge, but still fun to workout in this painting – different than the usual I paint.

  24. Amy says:

    After reading your response to Hien, I realized that it must not be an easy task to take a photo of your painting. I love the The always love how you paint the fabric. This one is especially beautiful, Mary. The texture of the wall, the apple, and the glass jars are all perfect and beautiful. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Amy, thank you for your read on the details – your photographer training shows and is always appreciated. Sometimes I can get a photograph as clear as can be, and then other times so not as in this image. I shouldn’t be lazy and just hook my camera onto the tri-pod – it does solve much of shaky image syndrome.

  25. The texture looks great and I like the peachy and brown colors a lot!

  26. This is so beautiful.

  27. Susan Feniak says:

    Wise words Mr Pisarro! Beautifully done Mary.

  28. Hi Mary~ I really can relate to that phrase about enjoying the journey of creativity. I am a newbie quilter and have joined many quilter’s website/groups to glean information about the process. Often, I have to rip out the seams that I have made because they are not right and I have learned to even enjoy that as part of the process. There was a time when that wasn’t the case, “just a nuisance and waste of time for me to get done” had been my former thoughts.
    I enjoy your work; who knew there would be so many artists in our family!
    God bless you.

    • Mary says:

      Hello dear cousin. Oh yes I can totally relate – there are times when I’ll paint over an entire piece that I’ve done, only to begin fresh again. There is one painting (16×24) I did this to three times until I was finally satisfied with the end piece. Glad to read about your quilting and know that you will make some gorgeous creations. Thanks for checking in and being so encouraging ~ very cool about our artists, we need to get Miss June painting again.

  29. cmartzloff says:

    So beautifully done Mary! I love your handling of the fabric and the way you captured the folds. I appreciate the viewpoint from Pissarro – painting for me is a constant process of learning and growing too.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Catherine and for mentioning the fabric. It doesn’t surprise me that you relate to the quote ~ painting with acrylics has been a huge learning curve, but something that I have really enjoyed.

  30. Beautiful, Mary. I’m potty about the colours.

  31. aFrankAngle says:

    I like it. A classy, vintage look (well, to me).

  32. It’s beautiful…just like the artist! Thanks for sharing, Mary. Your apple definitely looks sweeter than the ones I saw in the grocery store today. xo

  33. neihtn2012 says:

    Actual painting much sharper than image: is the image out of focus, or is that how your camera sees the painting? Regardless, I like what I am seeing. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Hien!! Oh sometimes I’m so bad with holding the camera, I think this time the camera probably wasn’t totally still when I took the photograph (I was pressed for time and did’t use the tri-pod). In this case I went back at a later date to retake some photographs of the painting and I had the hardest time getting the lighting, coloring, etc. just right – so I left well enough alone. One day I might re-shoot it. Thanks and so glad you like what you are seeing!

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