Aunt Jane's Red Shovel Painting | • 17x9 • Oil • John Morfis

Aunt Jane’s Red Shovel Painting

Aunt Jane's Red Shovel Painting | • 17x9 • Oil • John Morfis
Aunt Jane’s Red Shovel • 17″x9″ • Oil • John Morfis

This fantastic little garden shovel is all metal. I couldn’t help but wonder about the manufacturing process while I was painting this still life. It seems as if a single solid sheet of metal has been used to make this little garden shovel. Perhaps the master shape is stamped out and then the rest of the metal is pressed and wrapped around a jig to complete the form. I’m completely guessing here but that’s how I imagine this shovel to have been created. This theory is further strengthened when you exam the topmost part of the shovel’s handle. There, the metal has been crimped to form a more spherical top which would be more comfortable to hold and safer to use be eliminating any sharp metal edges.

I’ve painted several shovels before, but they always included a wooden handle. Besides being constructed solely of metal, this shovel was extremely unique in that is was red and gold. I rarely get to paint objects that are this colorful. It was a welcomed challenge and one I needed to expand my painter’s palette to accommodate.

The other day I was thinking about how limited my palette has become since I started painting antique tools. In my artist’s studio I can see dozens upon dozens of paint tubes. Full ranges of colors in various makes and sizes. Most of these tubes get ignored I’m afraid. Usually only about 8-10 colors make it onto my palette these days however. Keep in mind that this is including 4 neutral colors: white, black and two grays. So, I expanded my palette a wee bit to include a cadmium red and enjoyed every minute of this painting.


Please let me know of your thoughts below!


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