Three Pears with Sky & Chocolate Bunnies

Cardboard Sky, oil on linen, 16x20 in, © Jean Wilkey
Three Pears with Sky, oil on panel, 14×11 in, © Jean Reece Wilkey, Sold

I’ve recently been painting skies and I love the wonderful red blush of pears so it was a no brainer to put the two together. But I wanted to emphacize the pears more than the sky and so I kept the clouds whispy in the background instead of the big puffy, rain filled ones I tend to favor.

Canestra de Frutta, Carravagio
Caravaggio, Canestra de Frutta, ca 1598

I was thinking about the ripeness of the pears when I painted it and it reminded me of Carravaggio’s luscious fruit in Canestra de Frutta. I’ve always loved the elegant lushness and abundance displayed in this little still life. Michaleangelo Merisi de Caravaggio, generally painted large religious or mythical scenes using for his models the common folk he met in his travels. He incorporated still life objects in the larger works but this is perhaps the only still life done as a work on its own. It’s titled  Basket of Fruit and he painted it sometime between 1596-1599. (Sources vary on this and since he was generally on the run from the law my guess is he didn’t exactly keep good records.) Fruit in general symbolizes life’s fragility. In this still life you see the fruit and leaves in various states of maturation and decay which symbolizes the cycle of life.

My three pears painting sold to a friend who also bought this painting of bunnies done a few years ago.

Chocolate Bunnies in the Desert
Designer Des(s)ert Bunnies, oil on canvas, 36×30 in © Jean Reece Wilkey

The idea behind Designer Des(s)ert Bunnies is that in designing our gardens we use novel, non-native plants that can hopefully withstand the intense summer heat of the desert. So in this piece I placed ‘designer’ plants in a desert arroyo along with non-native chocolate bunnies. Of course the chocolate bunnies are the dessert part of the desert in the title. Get it?