EBSQ Spotlight on Still Life: Torrie Smiley

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.

Torrie Smiley

Cherries and Shadows - Torrie Smiley

What do I find compelling about Still Lifes is such a hard question to answer! I had to really think about it and what I discovered, to my amazement, is I love still life paintings. So many times when I set up to paint just for fun, it is still life. Landscapes and portraits seem like work.

When visiting galleries, I always gravitate toward the still life paintings. The different compositions- the setup, the lighting, the everyday objects depicted in a way to capture your imagination. The differences in technique can make the same still life look so different. I love detailed realistic still life and at the same time enjoy loose impressionistic still life paintings.

I often find myself looking at everyday objects the way the light is hitting it, the random placement, and immediately I think “that’s a painting”. I was in eating at a restaurant in Ohio not long ago and from across the room I saw their water table set up, the light was hitting it in such a way it was beautiful. I immediately grabbed my camera and discretely took several photos.

I guess what I am randomly trying to say is, I never set out to be a still life painter – my brain just led me that way. – Torrie Smiley

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