Archive for the ‘Still Life’ Category

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Flowers in the Can and Flowers in a Pot

June 20, 2018

Flowers in the Can – Oil on Canvas Panel – 16″ x 8″

Twice a year, Rockford holds ArtScene, an event intended to showcase the works of area artists. The event runs Friday and Saturday from late afternoon through the evening. One challenge is that generally 35 to 40 venues scattered around the city host artists. Another of the difficulties is that the event gets very little useful notice or promotion from the local media (sorry, but a photo in the Sunday paper or a short film clip on the Saturday late news, does not help). A few artists post invitations to their friends, but attendance is spotty.

The most recent event was challenging and we knew before the event started. Weather was predicted to be rainy and cold, not conducive for folks that might attempt to visit multiple venues. Rather than risk sitting around all weekend doing nothing, I decided to use a portion of my space to place a small Still Life display, set up my French Easel and create a painting during the event. I thought that my painting demonstration might stir up interest in my art and perhaps result in an off-the-easel sale. The painting, Flowers in the Can (above) was created Friday night. It was so much fun that I tackled the larger, Flowers in a Pot (below) on Saturday night (close to finish on Saturday, but needed a few finishing touches at home).

As any plein air artist knows, painting in public leaves one very vulnerable to comments. Several people did not realize that I had the display set up and wondered if I was making these paintings up out of my imagination. One person asked if I was painting in watercolors. I replied that these were oils, her response was that she felt that I should be painting in acrylics.  There were additional interesting comments, but I will refrain from sharing at this time.

Slow weekend. No sales, but I did walk away with two good paintings from the event. I plan to paint again at the next ArtScene this October. Hopefully to more favorable financial results.

 

Flowers in a Pot – Oil on Canvas Panel – 24″ x 12″

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Copper and Blue

June 19, 2018

Copper and Blue – Oil on Canvas – 20″ x 16″

On a trip to a local antique mall, I came across a copper tea kettle. Good condition. It was very dirty, but it was offered at an attractive price. After getting it home, I used some bartenders polish on it. May have removed too much of the patina, but so what. Great reflective qualities.

Used the pot and flowers in the blue vase as a prop for a quick, little demo in my Oil Painting class. Decided to work this opportunity a little further and add a few more elements. Loved working the folds of the cloth. Happy with the motion in this work. That is, the raw shapes of the Still Life elements and the flow created by the shadows in the background. Getting the “color” of the copper was a tough task. I am happy with the results.

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Bucket of Blossoms

May 30, 2018

Bucket of Blossoms – Oil on Canvas – 12″ x 16″

A scene from a summer plein air expedition was my inspiration. That display was a bucket suspended from and old metal headboard in a garden. The bucket contained a few very small flowers, or perhaps they were weeds. Anyway, they were small, scraggly and a bit unappealing. It was also very shaded.

I decided to use this idea and instead of the metal headboard, I opted to place the bucket on an old wooden fence. I used a small plein air study to work in the flowers. Added the bright  sunshine too.

 

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Flowers from Crimson

May 24, 2018

Flowers from Crimson – Oil on Canvas -8″ x 10″

We were having a few friends over for dinner. Shopping for all necessaries the night before, (food, wine, etc.,) the last stop was at a florist for a centerpiece. Interesting stop. It was a slow night and the florist was very informative and accommodating. Arrived home and my wife assembled the florist finds into an enjoyable spray. Dinner the following evening was very enjoyable.

The morning after our dinner party, while my wife was away, I took the flowers into the studio and started this painting. When my wife returned later that morning, I heard the ominous inquisition, “Thomas”. Not sure what trouble I may have caused, I was relieved to hear that Helen was only confirming that I had the flowers and was up to something. Happy to report that she was, and is pleased with the results. I nice remembrance of a successful experiment in flower arrangement.

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Chianti and Cronies

April 25, 2018

Chianti and Cronies – Oil on Canvas – 24″ x 18″

I started with the idea of putting the Chianti bottle, glass of wine (or, in this case, Cranberry juice) and grapes together for a still life. It needed something more. A stronger vertical could be had with a candle. I had to dig through a few boxes of props to find this candlestick holder. It needed more. I played with the tablecloth to get this play of folds. I liked it and was ready to start when my wife intervened. Helen felt that the set up needed something on the left side. In came the small blue vase and flowers. Challenge after challenge to complete this work in time to deliver to a gallery for the start of their season.

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Pot and Rose Buds

April 16, 2018

Pot and Rose Buds – Oil on Canvas – 11″ x 14″

On a visit to a local antique mall, I picked up this brown pot. I realized that it could yield some interesting reflections. Began to put together a still life grouping. After I started to play with folds in the fabric, I decided to remove some of the items. By reducing the set up to the pot, I could really play with the folds in the cloth and the resulting reflections. Initially, the set up only included the pot and pink roses. As I was nearing completion, we decided to add the purple flowers to add a change of color.

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Because Tradition

March 22, 2018

Because Tradition – Oil on Canvas – 16″ x 20″

Visited an antique store with my son. Found an interesting silver tea pot at a very attractive price. Sent a photo to my wife for her opinion. Helen replied “No.” Later, found a more interesting pot. Again, I sent a photo. Helen replied “No. We already have one”. I was puzzled. I do not recall having one in the collection of still life props.

Later that evening, Helen showed me the tea pot. It was part of a silver set given to us at our wedding by her brother. It’s tradition. I requested that Helen set up a still life. Getting the base color of the silver was a challenge. Had to go through a couple ideas to get comfortable with the background. The configuration of cardboard and canvases to shield the set up from the other light sources had the studio in disarray.

Happy with the results.