If you can’t make my peaches erotic, honey, please . . .

Peaches, worked and reworked watercolor by William Eaton, 2019

Three New Jersey peaches with any eroticism in the eyes of the beholder or photographer?From the New Jersey exurbs, a friend e-mailed a “photo of a kind of erotic ‘still-life’ of peaches.” This was a challenge. Among other things, and borrowing from an old song: If you can’t make my peaches erotic, honey, please leave ‘em in the trees?

Peaches with slits, watercolor with gold by William Eaton, 2019With various art materials, I have struggled. (A story of my life?)

New Jersey peaches with more than just peach fuzz, in gray tones I had the idea to print the photo on my black-and-white laser printer. This seemed to simplify the challenge, or at least I could begin work with more confidence. The light values were clearer; all the colors became gray tones.

Around dusk one evening, an employee of my local café was clearing the junk from the outdoor tables; he saw me drawing and the work in progress and, with a smile, quipped: “Gotta love cleavage!”

I can’t say that peach-cleavage was exactly what I was after, but I was emboldened by his remark. At least something erotic was coming through.

Often when drawing models I have in the back of my mind: How could I do this with just a few lines? And it seems at times that one is drawing and drawing above all to build up the confidence to just make those few telling lines and then STOP! Don’t let extra time or insufficient daring cause you to rework and rework.

Peaches, worked and reworked watercolor by William Eaton, 2019The other side of the coin: there’s a kind of love or commitment in working and reworking and reworking. And if the finished or abandoned work can only reflect some of this love and commitment? Good!

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