A ?large green goblet stood in the studio for a long time, waiting to take center stage in a painting.

It is such an unusual item that, whenever I included?it in a composition, it dominated every other element. I thought about how?such a?goblet would have been used in 17th c Spain. (Mine is a reproduction.) Surely, it was for wine, and would appear with other elegant table furnishings. Having just returned from France, I pictured grapevines as well. ?I realized that?a?vine and goblet would be natural and poetic objects for a still life.

I unearthed my travel sketchbook and turned to this page.

The vine and goblet teamed up nicely!

green goblet_site_816
Goblet, Napkin, and Vine, oil on linen panel, 11"w x 14"h

To me, this painting feels like the prelude to a wedding celebration, the?vine and goblet ready to play their parts.

I was glad to have the sketch of the vine, and I am sure I will use it again as I work out some future composition. Sketches have provided some of my most?successful?ideas for larger works. I use my?sketchbooks?to remember?my experiences, as material for reflection and reference, and to improve my drawing. I encourage everyone to keep a sketchbook.


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