100 Things: Still Life Paintings

I’ve been painting since I was perhaps ten or twelve. (Drawing is another matter, and another post!) I’m mostly self-taught, and back then I mostly worked in pastels, charcoals, and watercolors. But one spring Saturday my mom and I found an old paint-box filled with oil paints and brushes at a garage sale,and I fell in love with oils.

It was a troubled love affair, because when I was a teen I had a lot of allergies, and turpentine bothered me terribly. Even breathing the fumes from turp substitutes made my chest hurt, so I stopped with oils and tried acrylics. I don’t like acrylics much – they dry too fast, and I never quite got the hang of them. Watercolor was too unpredictable for my detailed, fussy method of painting, and after one too many times of having a painting get ruined by a wayward wash, I gave up painting entirely for a number of years.

Then they came out with water-mixable oils about ten years ago, and I fell in love with oil painting again. No turpentine! Everything thins and washes up with water! Yay!

I’ve done portraits and a few landscapes, but my true love will always be still life. There’s a lot of Dutch blood in my family, and when my mother researched our geneaology she found that there were several artists amongst our ancestors!

I did this painting and two others during a 14-week class I took at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts a few years ago. It was expensive ($450!), but a lot of fun. And I got college credit for the class, so go me.

Another from the class.

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And another.

The class was held in the “Still Life Studio”, which is one of the coolest places ever! There’s a 18″ (46cm) wide ledge that runs along the entire perimeter of the room, and every three feet or so was a different still life setup. There were upwards of two dozen setups in the room! So you picked one you liked and planted your easel in front of it. We did roughly one painting every 4 weeks. The “Books” painting was selected to be in the Student Show, and was displayed in the Academy’s main gallery for a month!

Here’s one I did as a Christmas gift for my boss a few years ago:

I titled it “You Don’t Know Jack”. Guess what he likes to drink! XD I collected the box, shotglass and belt buckle at a flea market.

Here’s the last finished, original painting I’ve done: (versus copies, which I’ll show you in another post)

“Harry, I Ate David”. Once at Christmas I received a box of Harry & David pears, and OMG they are as beautiful as they are delicious. I ate the one, painted the other and then ate it too.

I have a few unfinished pieces in my studio; a piece of sushi on a tiny plate, another pear painting and a bowl of lemons. I want to explore doing “Deconstructed Food” still life – for instance, call a painting “Salsa” and paint a grouping of tomato, onion, garlic and green pepper, or paint “Guacamole” – avocado, onion, garlic, etc.

*sigh* When I can find the time, anyway!

2 thoughts on “100 Things: Still Life Paintings

  1. Hi, love your paintings. I used to draw and paint when I was young(er), but it evolved into photography and sometimes painting in photoshop 🙂

    Following you now and I would love for you to stop by my blog: http://ImagesByCW.com. It is – as most things in life – a work in progress…

  2. Thank you! I’ve been dabbling a bit in photography, mostly taking pics to go with my haiku poetry. You’ve got some gorgeous pics on your blog – I especially love the way you’ve captured some of those skies!

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