Stuart did a lot of looking.
Stuart did a lot of painting.
Stuart set up an egg-beater, and painted pictures of it.
Again, and again, for decades.
This was serious business.
As one of America's best-known 20th Century Modernists, Stuart Davis was a firm believer in abstraction. That he was able to re-interpret exactly the same setting many times, over many years, shows his seriousness about using the scene only as a starting point. He even nailed the objects down!
You can see a fairly obvious, cubist-like version in the first image. But the later ones, despite being enjoyable and suggestive of a still-life in a room, reveal almost nothing egg-beatery.
This has given me courage. If an egg-beater on a table can lead to so many pictures, then so can....well, anything! Including any drawing, any painting, any photograph. Even a "bad" work of art.
In a previous post I showed a work-in-progress. It's been my "egg-beater" for the last month: it's spawned 7 distinct designs, and I feel like I've only just started.
The lesson for me? If you apply your mind and your own aesthetics and concepts to a setting, it can become a world of exploration and discovery.
Stuart Davis drew, painted, and printed posters. He's also my Poster Boy for Abstraction!