“Sitting in the theater, on the afghan, with the brilliant light turned on, the plate of fruit became a wonderland of exotic dwelling places. In addition to making the fruit glow, the light from the flood lamp seemed to set the leaves on fire. I felt a heart-tugging emotion as I observed that the leaf in the upper left-hand corner was radiant, while the leaf in front of it smoldered darkly.
By making the fruit ten times life size (the canvas for Fall Leaves and Fruit, is 6-feet, 8 inches by 7-feet, 6 inches), and by cropping away everything but the plate of fruit, I drew the viewer into the space of the painting. When I worked on the painting it was easy for me to feel like I was in it. For years I had put my face inches away from my still-lifes, but with the small paintings that I was doing, the viewer was left out. In this painting, with objects depicted at this size, I could make you see what I saw.
I painted Fall Leaves in a simpler style than Red Grapes and exaggerated the brilliance of the color in some places. The grapes go from a tinkling, colorful cascade on the left to become diffuse in the dark center and then rise hopefully to be backlit at the top center. From the left, the light moves across the ledge-like wedge of apples and strikes the edges of the crisp, gesturing leaf that harbors the apples and reaches out at you from the far right. ”