The Girl With Peaches

In September of 2015, I received an invitation to speak at the Portrait’s Inc., Seminar regarding my work and what has influenced my approach to painting through the years. I was asked to share an image of a painting by a historical painter that has inspired me and to share why. It was not a hard decision. The first picture that came to my mind was Serov’s – “Girl with Peaches”.

 “Girl with peaches”, Valentin Serov. 1887. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

“Girl with peaches”, Valentin Serov. 1887. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

I was introduced to Serov’s work while still in college, by an amazing teacher and mentor - Marc Chatov. My Illustration professor suggested studying with the Chatov’s since I was interested in portraiture. The very first investment art book I purchased was a collection of Serov’s paintings that I still enjoy studying to this day. I’m glad I took the $100 + dollar plunge while still a student.

 “Maggie”, Carol Baxter Kirby, 2002. Private Collection.

“Maggie”, Carol Baxter Kirby, 2002. Private Collection.

In preparing for the talk, I was reminded of a painting I did years ago that was inspired by the “Girl with Peaches”. In the original painting I was captivated by the atmosphere- the silhouetted shapes against the stream of light, the beautiful brushstrokes, and the glowing color. The simple beauty of an “ordinary” girl in an ordinary setting spoke to me. It reminded me of the delights I had known at my grandmother’s table. The painting of “Girl with Peaches” is much more than a painting of a young girl – it is part of the story of her life. My painting of Maggie is an attempt to say something about a beautiful young girl in a simple, quiet way. 

The day ended with a lovely dinner at the inspirational Salmagundi club where beautiful paintings and elaborate old architecture adorn the walls. Sharing a meal and conversation with so many amazing artists was the highlight of the day!

 The Salmagundi Club with Ellen Cooper

The Salmagundi Club with Ellen Cooper