Sunday, July 7, 2013


We usually think of atmosphere and space as elements in landscape paintings. In recent months I've been studying paintings by 18th century still life painter Jean-Simeon Chardin as well as work by 20th century painter Walter Murch. Both artists created still life paintings with a strong sense of atmosphere and space around the objects in the composition. It gives their work a certain mood. I've been working with that idea in some of my recent painting. It seems that keeping the dark backgrounds transparent helps achieve the feeling of space.

I decided to start with a traditional still life subject — apples. I've painted a lot of apples over the years, but I learn something new each time.

"Still Life with Apples", 14"x 20", oil on linen, Sold

This composition is about contrasts. The bright yellow lemon opposes the ancient black pot and the airy transparency of the water glass contrasts its heaviness.

"Chinese Pot, Lemon & Glass", 11" x 14", oil on linen, Sold

The Japanese saki bottle has a very graphic quality with its black calligraphy. The mandarin oranges created orange reflections on the pottery and made the whole arrangement glow.

"Saki Bottle with Mandarins", 12" x 16", oil on linen, Sold

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