The Heart of Bok Choy is a 8x6 oil on linen by Shirley Fachilla.
This painting began with a beautiful head of bok choy from a good friend's garden. I intended to paint all of it, every purple/green leaf (which I found to be absolutely gorgeous).
But good intentions often are subverted when I start welding a paintbrush and instead of showing all, I painted a close-up of the very heart of that crispy little bok choy. It became an abstract rather than a study, something that was all about light and dark, color complements and thick versus thin.
Who would recognize it as a garden vegetable? Probably no one that’s who.
Turning things into abstractions, of course, is hardly anything new. Georgia O’Keeffe did it with a vengeance. Her big, bold close-ups of flowers filled canvases with swooping, simplified shapes and beautiful subtle colors. Art critics compared those flowers to many things, some x-rated, or at least extremely intimate; but no matter, artists have been following her lead ever since.