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Award Sponsor: RayMar Art

Persimmons on a Wood Crate
by Elizabeth Floyd
Oil 12 x 24

Entered in: 8th Annual Competition Month #8 - November 2014

Judge's Comments: This is one of the two most traditional paintings Ive picked for November. It is a lovely example of trompe-lil, a school of painting that goes back hundreds of years to the Baroque era, if not all the way back to the walls of Pompeii. Its main intent is to fool us into thinking that what we are seeing is real. But while mimesis is central to the art form, an artists success at creating it is largely measured by how skillful they are at concealing their hand. And Elizabeth succeeds. Formally, this painting is not about persimmons, leaves, or apple crates. It is about the picture plane and specifically, how and in what way a painter should violate it. (The picture plane is the surface a painting is painted on. Think of it as a transparent window you can see the image through. The painter uses her skills to either push an object into, or pull it out of the picture plane an issue that has preoccupied artists for centuries.) Before Elizabeth even picked up a brush, she aligned the crate in such a way that it represented or became the picture plane and then stacked persimmons in a pyramid along the top edge just behind it. All very classical and quite restrained. However, to increase visual interest, and more importantly, to create a shallow sense of form and depth, Elizabeth then hung a single fruit below the edge of the crate so its rounded form would cast a shadow across the face of the box, revealing the side light. In addition, she carefully laid a twig with curling leaves at an angle to further extend a sense of spatial depth and placed similar leaves behind the box as rhythmic echoes. All of Elizabeth's efforts at modeling the form tells us where everything sits in the picture plane either in or out. You couldnt find a better example of traditional trompe-lil. - Thomas Jefferson Kitts