I finally finished my small painting of the Elmwood Cafe. My initial inspiration was the yellow striped awning. It acts as a halo, backlighting the engaged figures. In the foreground sits an exaggerated still life. The circular shapes in the still life are nestled among vertical stripes - found in chairs and ceramics. Likewise, the people are nestled among vertical stripes, found in chairs, windows and awnings. There are many arch shapes in the painting to soften the vertical lines. A zig zag path starts from the cafe door, leads through the figure with the colorful shawl, to the napkin and bowl in the foreground, and straight to the viewer via the spoon. This is a small painting with a lot of elements woven together. The Elmwood Cafe is a great place to visit, and they donate half of their profits to charitable causes such as Vida Verde and the Go Green Initiative.
The same week I finished the Elmwood Cafe painting I came across this painting in a Bonnard catalogue from a recent exhibition at the Beyeler Foundation near Basel. This painting is called La Nappe Blanche. You can see my attraction to a composition consisting of figures and a still life nestled among vertical lines and colorful stripes. The white table cloth serves as a canvas for round shapes, abstracted figures, and the colorful pattern of a sweater. Bonnard's painting also displays a mix of light sources. I really love his paintings and am enjoying this recent catalogue.