Work In Progress

Since I haven't shown any in-progress work lately, I thought I'd post an image of what's on my easel right now. This is an 8 x 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) still life, in oil of course. At this point, the underpainting is complete, and some of the final color layer has been applied.

I've been grappling with kind of an interesting issue as I've painted this. A couple days ago, it struck me that the composition actually reminded me a lot of the classical sculpture Laocoön and His Sons.

Though I've never seen it in person, I've been familiar with it since I was a child. Subconscious imitation is not out of the question at all, though there isn't really anything special about that. The question for me to decide is how explicit of a connection to make, for instance by calling my painting "Laocoön" or some such.

On the one hand, I did not set out with the the sculpture specifically in mind, and I don't feel like I have anything particularly compelling to say about it. These kinds of grand historical allusions can come across as insufferably pompous, and that's the kind of thing I generally shy away from.

On the other hand, it is kind of a neat reference, almost an artistic pun. The Laocoön is probably my favorite sculpture from antiquity, and I certainly did enjoy being able to draw a line between it and what I've been working on.

In any event, it won't be finished for a while, so I don't have to decide anything today. In fact, I'll get back to work on it...