Tag Archives: telephone ring

The Not So Still Life

Bill Barrell loves to paint but tea also plays a big role in his day to day life….

Still Life with Telephone
Telephone Ring, 50 in x 66 in, 1998

…. I am usually the first one up in my house which means that I make the tea.  Marilyn, my muse, will not stir until tea has flowed through her lips. Once in a while, she will call out “Good Cuppa”. This means all of the elements have been in the correct position for the perfect Cuppa.

One can never rely on it being a good cup of tea no matter how much attention one pays to the making of it. I have read much on tea and have a Chinese friend who scolds me for adding milk. I have enjoyed many a cup of oolong or lapsangshoshon, but nothing surpasses a cup of regular Brook Bond Red Rose tea with milk – no sugar.

This painting, “Telephone Ring”, was leading me on just such  a merry chase and was giving me a hard time. Deep in thought and wrestling with what to put where or what color would bring it to life, the phone rang and I answered it.  I was still talking on the phone when I glanced at the work and through the distraction I saw what I needed! I thanked my caller profusely, hung up and dove right back into the painting, wrestling it to the ground.

So, what I have in this painting is a captured moment. The phone rings and things have come to life. A painting can look so easy and sometimes it does come easy.  Many times it’s a struggle, creating doubts and fears that one has lost ones mojo. Often, these works turn out to be the most forceful and interesting because digging deep into the psychic mind, we find the ability to solve what seems like an unsolveable problem.

When looking at paintings, it is a good thing to look at the reworking in areas. This can give you an idea of the struggle. For example, you can often see in Picasso’s work that one line or block of color will change the whole area therefore shifting the perspective, feeling or energy field, the latter being such a vital part of the work.

What is so great about art is that once the energy has been attained it is an energy force that does not diminish.

It is almost as good as a good cuppa……