watercolor of antique spoon

The Beauty in a Spoon


I saw this spoon in a drawer of antique silverware belonging to my mother. I was struck by this particular one and its simple beauty. I loved the way the silver caught the colors that were nearby: the orange ruler and the aqua of a glass bird. They really weren’t even that near, but the spoon seemed to find the colors anyway.

I’m always intrigued with line and shadow, and the line of this spoon seemed wonderfully simple, even elegant. I placed it on this cloth of squares, which to me emphasized the roundness of the bowl and its shadow.

This seemingly simple watercolor is actually more difficult to paint than one would think. I was very touched by the following comment, which the son of a former classmate of mine made when he saw this piece:

“Metal is lit directly (with the source lights that are reflected once to your eye ) and by the surrounding objects that are also reflecting light (so that light reflects twice: once from the directly-lit object and then from the reflecting object to your eye). This is true of all materials that aren’t true black, but metals reflect light in closer to coherent image than other materials, which cause greater ray scattering. So polished silver would show warped but optically coherent reflections of the lit objects around them, and fabric, for example, reflects only the most incoherent suggestions of nearby lit objects, just smudges. To suggest so unambiguously, using only pigments, that the spoon is tarnished silver, is to not only get the colors right (which takes tons of practice) but to smudge the colors to somewhere between optic coherence and total diffusion.”

I wanted to post this piece as it’s the first in a series that I’d like to do using minimal color. I hesitate to say shades of gray, but that’s what fascinates me at this moment. I love the subtleties that can be found in grays. Not only do they range from dark to light, but also from one end of the color spectrum to the other. In my next blog, I’ll give a range of samples.

If anyone is wondering why I have so little to show, I’ve been busy with my younger daughter getting married. It was lovely, and great fun!

Also, I was thrilled that she wanted me to design and sew her dress. I learned sewing in junior high home economics, and it took. Also, my husband and I had a stuffed animal company (Under the Lamb, Inc), and I created several products, including an executive lamb, called E.F. Mutton, our biggest selling product. I did the original lamb. My husband wrote “The Wool Street Journal” to go with it.

E. F. Mutton a plush stuffed animal

E. F. Mutton


Here is my daughter, Katrina,  in the dress and train. She, by the way, has been the model for many of my paintings.



This cell phone picture shows the top. I love the way it falls around the neck.

Katrina eating the cake

Eating the Cake

I’d say that’s enough for now. I’m busy reclaiming my life, and I hope to get painting as I haven’t been able to do in years! This Saturday, I was just juried into the Charleston Art League, and I’m excited to plug in and see what happens next.

In case you didn’t see, we now live in Mt Pleasant, SC, outside of Charleston:  1393 Southern Magnolia Lane, Mt. Pleasant, SC, 29464.

Thanks so much for looking!

PHOTO OF Bradford pear