I have been a busy bee creating a few small still life paintings these last two weeks. Although painting from a still life set-up is easy in the sense the model doesn’t move, the light does! Like plein-air painting, this creates a challenge and forces one to paint quickly before the light changes. I have started taking a photo of the initial scene to refer to once my basic painting is complete; this enables me to check my shadows and highlights at the end.
The French termed a still life as a “Nature morte” which literally translates as ‘dead nature’ and the surrealist artist Salvadore Dali had a bit of fun when he had a dig at this term in one of his paintings, “Nature morte vivante” (dead nature alive) where he had the objects flying around! Anything but dead and very creative indeed!
More than just the scene of a few inanimate objects on the canvas, I love trying to capture the very essence of the objects themselves. Even a pot has a personality! And no fruit is without beauty or a character of its own – or am I just crazy?!!!
Painting still life scenes is great fun though, and quite a change from painting people, which I have done for many years, and can also offer a range of possibilities for all style of art as it doesn’t have to be the traditional old fashioned way and manner, but can be done in a contemporary way or even as an abstract painting.
I love colour, so I portray that in my work. I also love bold brushstrokes and adding impasto in certain parts of the painting to add interest.
Talk about the joy in a paintbrush! I have found it in this style of work and would like to show you a few examples of my recent paintings: