Smooth Banana and a Barbed Wire Bath

Smooth banana

A Smooth Banana - 2010

In the filtered light after a brief summer shower some things like these aging banana leaves take on a silken smoothness. Their texture, colors and folds give the illusion of fabric hanging from the stalk. However, most plants in the dry tropical bush are prickly and sharp, not smooth and silky. A little way along this same path there was an old bathtub draped with barbed wire — a still life of manmade objects emulating the thorny bush.

The illusion is of softness, while man made thorns block access to a symbol of the comfort and security of home.

Barbed wire and bath tub in the woods

Barbed Wire Bath - 2010

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18 Comments on “Smooth Banana and a Barbed Wire Bath

  1. I gasped at the first image happy with delight. Beautiful! The second is such a shift in gears the barbed wire like you said” blocking access” to a familar symbol of comfort.

  2. I don’t know how you do it, but your work has magnificent variety of color, mood and expression.

    The first work is so very painterly–luscious, smooth and gutsy.

    The second is clearly the work of an accomplished photographer. It is moody, lovely and makes a strong social statement.

    Yes, I concur with “starlaschat”! Really well done.

  3. Thanks Starla! The source photos for these were taken just minutes apart, but the results are so different, even jarring. We don’t have a traditional “fall” here with all the colored leaves, but if you look, there are so many other sources of color like these banana leaves, and the many the flowering trees and shrubs growing wild…

  4. Oh, Melinda, your comments are always so interesting and perceptive! I worked very hard to get that silky painterly quality in the first image, and the second… well it was just there.
    Sometimes I think my work has variety to the point of being scattered, but I know there is a theme and a message that runs throughout, a message that needs different tongues to articulate.
    Thanks!!

  5. I feel as you do at times, that my work has too much variety. Sometimes I like the subtle, moody, atmospheric quality and at other times, the bold and colorful. Do we have to pick one that makes a statement of who we are, or do we try everything, picking the style that suits our expression of the moment. I’m back at subtle value studies, trying to capture the drama with less color, and then hoping to do the same image using color to get the same drama. So much to do and learn!
    A Smooth Banana is so sensuous and vibrant. A basket full of silk scarves or negligees. Nicely done. Barbed wire Bath is one of those subtle limited palette images that says so much with so little effort.

  6. I love the first image. It’s so painterly and colourful. Very luscious like a an oil painting that has had thick layers of paint trowelled on. If it were a chocolate, it definately would be a soft centred liquor truffle.

  7. Thanks Catherine! The question is “too much variety for whom?”. Maybe for the critics, or just the snobs… But I think each of us must first please ourselves as artists. If that comes out in various ways, so be it. Yes, so much to learn and that’s ok!
    Glad you liked the images!

  8. Planetross! Thanks for stopping by! I’m just trying to match some of those oddities of public art you find in Japan.

  9. To the yin of smooth is the yang of sharp. You got them both so well.
    The colors and surface of those banana leaves almost look like the ganache sheet chocolate that’s used on those elaborate cakes to make perfect, seamless, flawless shells on which all the other decorations go.
    ( I’ve been watching Ace of Cakes on cable- it’s unimaginable what these folks cook up in their cake laboratories ).
    I’ve seen hummingbirds wet their little bellies on the drape of those leaves after a rain.

    Like words of a language made up of only 26 letters, you’re able to create colors and use them together that are distinctly your own.

    Bravo Don.

  10. Thanks, Robin! Never thought of the bathtub as being Steven King-ish, but now that you mention it… In a bygone era (and in black and white) it could have ben Alfred Hitchcock!

  11. Hi Bonnie! So you’ve been watching the food channel, in between spells of battling the bush? Ha, ha! I’ve never seen the hummingbirds do that, but those big leaves have a beautiful sheen when they are wet. I remember in Trinidad having a special East Indian Divali meal served to us on banana leaves. Elegantly authentic! I guess I’m addicted to color… Thanks!!

  12. provocative, the juxtaposed images. unusual pairing but it makes perfect artsense. each so different, and yet they do something outside-the-box when presented together like this. that would be the gift outside the box, the gift of the idea. and the colors, very fresh and unpredictable. great to see, thanks don!

  13. Thanks, tipota! Sometimes it’s the contrast and tension that makes the statement? And the colors; The word “overripe” just came to mind — not really fall colors, but just a little overripe. Thanks!

  14. Ok. Me bad. But, here’s what I thought when I looked at your barbed wire bathtub. A new ad campaign for Viagra/Cialis moment. When Blue Pills Are Not Enough could be the tag line. OK. You shall definitely think me crazy unless you’ve seen their preposterous TV ad campaign with the man and woman sitting in separate bathtubs on a cliff or out in the middle of a lake or something ludicrous. Ok, I’ll go now. Maybe if they had them eating a banana AND in the bathtub…Alright, alright…I’m going.

  15. Oh, Pat, you make me laugh! Especially the image with each of them in the tub with a banana. I needed that! Thanks!!

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