Debra Keirce

by Debra Keirce
30”x 40” Oil on gesso primed, brushed aluminum panel
34”x 44” Framed
Along with its companion painting, “Charcuterie,” this piece pictures my family’s holiday meal. I had to complete the sketches, take photographic references, and do my alla prima color sketches before the food spoiled. It was a fun challenge. For some details, I of course was able to set up smaller arrangements in my studio. For example, I  had a nuts, which are surprisingly hard to paint, laying around for several weeks. The glasses I repainted several times, and in different lighting situations. I settled on the natural light from a window alcove in my studio. Glass is always prettier when depicted in sunlight. But of course, the rest of the composition is in subdued light in an interior room.
The INspiration for “Tarts” is Willem Claesz Heda's’ 1635 painting ‘Banquet Piece With Mince Pie.” In classic Dutch still life form, plates and knives are precariously perched on table edges, and give a sense of tension that contrasts with the comforting feeling of relaxing with dessert on a full belly. Pewter or silver jugs could have held water, but more likely they were used to serve beer and wine in those roemer glasses. The lemon was often included in paintings. Lemons were expensive in the 17th century and it is suggested that they symbolize time passing. I put a bit of a twist on things by making mine a lime, but my thought was the same - enjoy your earthly pleasures because time will pass, and if you don’t eat that tart soon, a family member will certainly indulge in the next hour and you’ll miss your chance! I hope your mouth waters at the sweetness of those strawberries, and I invite you to grab a nut or cherry as you stroll by.
INspired by:
“Banquet Piece With Mince Pie”
by Willem Claesz Heda
Oil on Canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

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