Sunset Baking

by Gemma Gould

This piece began as a doodle of a table. I always liked the fun, off-kilter effect you can get from distorting perspective in unexpected ways but find it difficult to break away from realistic perspective in my own work. I wanted to play around with flattening the viewpoint and with different methods of rendering wood textures.

Around my finished ‘wonky table’ experiment, I started to imagine a kitchen. I have a Pinterest board of home design inspiration and could see my rustic table sitting quite nicely in one of those kitchens – turquoise tiles, copper, wooden fittings and bristling with houseplants.

If I had a kitchen like that, I would bake a lot of cakes! l love baking and, no matter how old I get, I find the best bit is always licking the bowl. In my mind, a cosy, nostalgic picture-book scene began to take shape: the narrative of a cheeky boy who is meant to be helping his mother bake cakes, who thinks she doesn’t notice him slyly sticking his fingers into the mix (she does).

I often take part in a weekly art challenge on Twitter called ‘Colour Collective’. Each week you are given a colour to use as the basis for a piece of artwork and at the end of the week everyone shares what they have done. When I was working on this picture, the colour was ‘Cadmium Yellow Pale’. I used this for the glow of the sunset and selected a colour scheme to compliment it and lighting to fit the evening setting.

At first, the scene was that of an English country kitchen with a big AGA stove but, as it developed, the final colour palette struck a more Mediterranean vibe, so I decided to change location to Spain. I altered a lot of details to give a more authentic representation of the new location.

A last fun fact: the dog lounging on the rug is modelled after my own fur-baby, Skye, in one of her rare quiet moments!

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