I love this painting by Bo Bartlett. It is simply entitled “Soap” (2010 • Oil on Panel • 17 x 17).
The fact that I have never seen a painting done of a bar of soap lying in the corner of a tub makes this image all the more intriguing. It also amazes me that the picture evokes such a sense of calm in me. Despite its potentially slipper subject. It must be the light on the soap. It must be the soft beige hues.
In the book Bo Bartlett, Heartland by Tom Butler, the author writes:
“He pushes the boundaries of the realist tradition with his multilayered imagery. Life, death, passage, memory, and confrontation coexist easily in his world. Family and friends are the cast of characters that appear in his dreamlike narrative works. Although the scenes are set around his childhood home in Georgia, his island summer home in Maine, his home in Pennsylvania or the surroundings of his studio and residence in Washington state, they represent a deeper, mythical concept of the archetypal, universal home.”