Monday, 7 March 2011

Oranges and lemons

          
           “In the kitchen, sunlight filtered through the movement in the leaves of the courtyard trees outside the window, rendering the white plaster walls inside diaphanous and transitory like fluttering muslin. A bright Christmassy scent of freshly peeled oranges was all around. I couldn’t think where it came from as we had only apples in the fruit bowl.”
                       
                                               From The Lantern


Julian Merrow-Smith is a classically-trained painter, and it shows in every brushstroke. In his small oil Citron de Nice, the lemon seems to glow from within while the light around is sombre. It has a timeless quality, like a beautiful detail from an Old Master.

Likewise, this clementine is so richly evoked that you can almost smell the zesty aroma released by the fruit as its peel is pulled away, and juice trembles on the membrane. Look at that pith, fluffed and exposed, and you can taste its distinctive bitterness. What a gift to be able to engage so many senses with paint on a flat surface!

I wrote about Julian in one of my very first posts on this blog, when I was getting about three visitors a day, and two of these almost certainly accidental. So for those who missed it first time round, here is the link to his Still Life with Figs.

Extraordinarily, he paints a picture of this calibre a day - normally from his studio near Crillon-le-Brave but sometimes from his wider travels. These encompass landscapes and, occasionally, portraits as well as still lives; they are then auctioned online.

So successful have these proved that 140 from the collection have been published as a treat of a book, Postcard from Provence, the dream-like countryside of southern France seen through the eyes of a contemporary yet very traditional artist. It is available here from Amazon, or from the painter’s website here, which also has details of the daily auction.

22 comments:

RICHARD MOISAN said...

C'est vrai, Deborah, que certains peintres ont une telle précision dans leur coups de pinceau qu'on pourrait presque toucher les objets. C'est le cas ici, où on pourrait même sentir l'odeur de la mandarine.
Merci pour ces peintures, et bon début de semaine!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

It's fascinating how such ordinary objects, when crafted so beautifully, can draw you into their detail - so much like the elegant gravity of your words.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Very sensuous painting.......I can smell and taste the fruit.
Thanks for sharing!

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Such a gorgeous post.thtese paintings are absolutely divine..and awe-inspiring! They conjure up the senses and such beauty!
Victoria~

Mari Carmen said...

The pictures are beautiful. I love them! And I have just eaten four little clementines. These smell and taste so good... :)

Have a good Monday.

Dizzy C said...

Beautiful paintings and beautiful words

carol

litlove said...

Once again I marvel at the wealth of artistic talent in your region. These pictures are gorgeous and make me think of the prose poems of Francis Ponge in Le parti pris des choses. Ponge took a series of everyday items - an orange, a loaf of bread, a candle, and wrote a poem about each that tried to represent it as vividly and accurately on the page as possible. I find them enchanting.

Lisa Erin said...

Lovely pieces.

BonjourRomance said...

Beautiful, very much like the old Masters.

Janel said...

I admire (and try not to be jealous of!) people who have talent like this.

Thanks for the wonderful comment on my blog today. I appreciate the support. :)

Adiante said...

En effet ces peintures sont exquises mais n'oublions pas non plus la citation de ton oeuvre !

versus said...

Orange et citron, comme douce amère, comme l' écorce et la chair.
Bonne journée !

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Il me semble que la lumière de The Lantern s'accorde parfaitement avec ces oeuvres à la fois vives et délicates.
Merci pour la (les) découverte !

Leovi said...

Julian is undoubtedly a great painter, the two magnificent paintings. medium orange peel another reason I find difficult, and is superbly run getting tones and textures to perfection. Greetings

BookGeek said...

Lovely paintings. Excuse me while I run to the store and grab an orange. :)

Champagne Macarons said...

Beautiful still life paintings. There are few things I find as lovely as exquitsite art.
Thank you for introducing me to this artist. I'm going to look up her work now.

Also, thank you for stopping by yesterday. It's always nice to have new visitors.

Wishing you a lovely early March week! xoxo, B

Becca said...

Thank you for adding this beautiful image to my morning! Delightful :)

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

The clementine just made my mouth water with its perfect image and detail. It is amazing how the flat medium of paint and canvas can tantalize us so.

Bises,
Genie

itsuko K said...

Thank you for sharing those beautiful works. I like the lemon painting. The use of light and shadow as well as colors reminds me of Rembrandt.

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Ah, but you all have wonderful taste! (Which means the same taste as I do, in other words!) Thank you again, all of you, for the many lovely comments.

It occurs to me, as I look at other blogs, that I don't generally reply to anyone individually on here (though I must just say to Litlove, I will read Ponge; you're the second person to mention him this week) and I hope none of you mind that. I've taken the view that I'd rather visit your blogs and leave comments there, and my appreciation is implicit in those. I'm not sure I have time to do both, with current writing commitments. But do let me know if I've got it horribly wrong.

Stacey Donaldson said...

Beautiful! Oh how I wish I could paint! I'm just not artsy...but I can certainly appreciate the beauty of it. Thank you so much for sharing.

I also love the picture of the lavender field on your blog as well. I can just imagine the heavenly scent!

Ingridcr8s said...

Oranges and lemons brighten my day. I have many artworks of lemons in particular, in my kitchen to brighten winter days. Thanks for sharing these artworks.

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