Artificial Sweet Peas
acrylic, colored pencil, ink
with gold leaf on paper
24" x 18"
back
Another exploration of pattern,
this piece began with an uncut
sheet of printed packaging for
an omnipresent artificial sugar
product.  I began by laying over it
a pattern of sweet peas on a
lattice.

My initial concept was just to be
pretty and ironic.  But apparently
reading the paper's fine print of
chemical names and "nutrition"
information over and over  
knocked the "pretty" right out of
my head.  I began to notice that I
had designed the flowers to be
facing away from the sun (their
backs to the viewer).  Then I just
seemed to want to make the
colors slightly unhealthy, which
lead to my adding an overlay of
mildew.  I guess I have issues
with artificial chemicals and
their ever growing and harmful
presence in our diet.  Once I
realized what I was up to, I
added the final touch of the very
inorganic clean white tablets
popping out of the pea pods.

In spite of my apparent need to
wallow in grime and preach a
bit, the piece somehow still
manages to keep catching my
eye as a rich and sumptuous
pattern (the mildew not
withstanding).  The gross out
factor starts only upon closer
inspection.
© Ron Orpitelli 2006
PS: I wish to express my
thanks for the paper to Kathy
Maher.  I had planned to show
my appreciation by making
Kathy a smaller version of this
piece.  But the idea of
presenting her with a mildewed
little thing just doesn't seem
quite right somehow.  (...sigh...)
© Ron Orpitelli 2006