This month’s featured gallery is Still Life. A still life is a collection of inanimate objects depicted in an artistic composition and is a genre that has always been a staple for artists. Setting up a still life is an exercise in composition. Painting or photographing the composition is an exercise in technique. The result of these efforts is a work of art. Throughout the month of January, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of EBSQ’s still life artists.
Just over a year ago I started on my Daily Painting journey. Initially, I could not decide on a subject and found myself struggling to find focus. Gradually, I settled on Still Life. I find the convenience suits my needs better than gathering photos from my daily activity and I also enjoy having control over my subject—the positioning, the lighting, the combination of objects. I have no Art Education, but after painting Still Lives for a year I understand why so many Master Artists chose Still Lives for their subjects. An inanimate object with its hard edges and strong values can be very challenging. Now, when I do have the occasion to paint animated subjects I find them to be much easier than they used to be and I know it is because of the difficulty of painting Still Life and the beneficial lessons I’ve learned from it. In the beginning, many of my paintings were done from photo references but now I try to paint from life as much as possible. The way the light hits a 3D object is so magical and cannot be fully captured in a 2D photo. I prefer to paint in an Alla Prima Impressionist style on Masonite primed with a black base. The majority of my canvases are small and painted in a square format which works well with the centered cropping I like. While I do not always meet my goal of finishing a painting daily, I try to paint a little every day and never tire of the endless challenges and surprises that Still Life offers. – Gwen Bell
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