Screwdriver painting by Artist John Morfis

The Slender Driver Painting

Screwdriver painting by Artist John Morfis
“The Slender Driver” • oil • 17 x 11 inches

This is the second time I’m painting this old screwdriver. What can I say?   It is really, really old and super cool looking. I definitely have an affinity for old, wooden-handled tools.

Last time I painted this tool it was facing the other way. There’s only so many ways you can position single screwdriver for a still life painting so here we are again with very much the same composition.

There are a few differences however.

When I flipped the screwdriver around to the current view shown here I had a small dilemma. The metal rivets holding the handle together were not quite centered along with the profile of the tool.  It’s as if they were inserted on an angle by accident.  If you have some experience drawing or painting from life you may have encountered this sort of problem at one time too.

The problems goes like this: Something is not quite lined up correctly in real life but seems like it should have been.

So, do you paint the part in question as being perfectly lined up or do you paint the reality? Reality usually trumps perfection but let’s consider the problem a little more closely.

Under these circumstances I always try to make my art look intentional. If the rivets were 1/64 of an inch off center I would have gone ahead and just centered them. That small of a misalignment would make it look as if I painted them incorrectly.   Under these circumstances however, the little metal rivets in the handle where off-center enough which justified painting them that way.

So I guess the viewer will just have to settle on one of two interpretations:

  1. I’m a terrible painter and completely messed up the alignment of the rivets.
  2. The rivets are in fact not centered because of the way the tool was made.

There it is, the reality vs. perfection debacle settled.   So now when you’re looking at my screwdriver painting and wondering, “Are those metal rivets off just a bit?” You would be absolutely correct in your observations.

Thanks for reading.

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