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Somehow in over 20 years of going back and forth to England I had missed St. Ives, an artistic port tucked away in Cornwall.  This past autumn we put it right. And as is often the case, My Beloved Brit researched on line and found the most glorious spot on a tiny back street hidden in the midst of this famous seaside town.

“Olives” is a truly lovely spot that specializes in tea and scones, but also has marvelous cakes and coffees.  I knew immediately it begged a painting, no matter how daunting the details (That plaid shirt!  That glassware!).

Nonetheless, she persisted.

I loved the colors and the contrasts between hard and soft surfaces.  Slowly I worked on putting a first layer of paint down.

I had taken several photos of our young barista, but loved this layout of reaching for a cup.  The extended arm helped me not lose her in the jumble. Once I had the first pass of color completed I started to slowly return and add detail, highlights and tone.

As i proceeded, I decided where I wanted emphasis.  I spent days on her shirt, face and hair.  But what a release in this time of anxiety to work on such a lovely expression of pure joy.  A full 7 weeks later, working almost every weekday, it was done.

Scones, St. Ives, 30 x 24″, oil

And, by the way, My Beloved Brit had the Vegan Chocolate Cake, and I had Cranberry Scone with clotted cream and jam. One of the best “lunches” we had in England.