1 June 2009

painting the Tate & Lyle golden syrup tin

"Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
So when you have an object in front of you to paint, take a moment to decide how you are going to achieve your interpretation in oils.

I thought about making an exact replica at first - almost photographic.
But then decided I would make a loose daub of the tin.
So giving it a personal narrative of my own, which is now the favicon of my blog, and it's title image.

The symbolism is all there before me in the oldest British branding that everyone knows, the most obvious one being the Tate gallery legacy, a dishonourable trade empire that reaches back into the slave trade, capitalism, the end of capitalism, but, of course, we have fine food too.

The object is our studio money tin.
No-one bothers to put their pound coin in for their art paper though, but it stands there in anticipation of their honouring a contract.

So the first thing is to get a cover of the object on the canvas.
It looks like a tin of paint at first, I have masses of coloured reflections bouncing off the seemingly green tin

& so to leave it to dry

Now, another choice.
Do I put any of the writing in. I decide "Yes".

& my dead lion looks upright at the moment, he's supposed to be an ex-lion, it is no more, it is deceased.

& the painting needs more greenery, the Tate & Lyle tin is distinctly Brooklyn Green by nature, like my old MG midget.

I could stop here, but I leave it to dry and apply one more loose piece of work to the painting

It needs just a little more patterning on the tin, the flourishes over the brand name mostly,
& just a little more rounding
coupled with the warming of the background colour

as per usual, I can do much more to the tin, tighten up the impression, or even take it back to one of the looser previous versions
but I'm content to leave it be now, it's just as important to know when to stop, & not to overwork your painting.

You can always make another one.


Maggie said...

Wonderful paintings of this 'iconic' tin. I love the whole Tate & Lyle story and thank goodness it's still around today.

Gill the Painter said...

Yes, amen to that Margaret.

Sarah (Sej) said...

Hi Gill - At last I get round to leaving a comment on your blogger site! Its great!! I do love your painting in particular your use of colour. The way the tin evolves from the beginning is really interesting to see and the range of colour you manange to achieve just mixing three colours is fantastic. Did you know that your painting comes up when you google Tate and Lyle tin images! It looks great and has inspired me to paint the tin too!!

Gill the Painter said...

Hey Sarah. You made it.

I didn't know that about google no. The joys of blogging eh.
Can't wait to see your finished painting too.

4ntarctic said...

Hi, I found your blog when I was Googling Lyle's Golden syrup for a pre-university summer project.

I really like your painting. The colours and the brush strokes are lovely.

If you'd like, have a look at my drawing of the same tin: www.CharlesEdwardScott.com/2009/08/drawings-of-food

Gill the Painter said...

thanks for that link, Scott. I've commented on your nicely spontaneous images.

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