Sunday, 2 February 2020

New Year, New Project

Last week small canvases and paints were retrieved from my leaky studio and work has started on a little project I've been mulling over for some time. Ever since a visit to Southampton City Art Gallery and seeing a small still life of a pear I have been thinking about challenging myself with learning to paint contemporary still life, so now seemed the perfect opportunity to weave that into a busy schedule.
So far so good. The size is perfect for in the house, and working in the evening with constant lighting has also paid off.
So here I am working out formal spaces, thinking about colour, form and texture and what I actually want to convey through the style of the work. As ever I have been drawn to American artists, in particular William Bailey, Todd M. Casey and William M. Harnett who's work I saw a few years ago in New York.

William Bailey's paired down vision

Todd M. Casey, 'Entomologist'

William M. Harnett

I love the paired down look by William Bailey because the space lets everything breathe and the rhythmical shapes and colour combinations have calming aesthetics. Todd M. Casey's work has a sense of narrative to it. It makes me think he's just raided someones ruck sack or kitchen and makes me ask who owns this stuff! And William M. Harnett for his amazing skill and use of paint.
Luckily I have plenty of objects to paint so I haven't had to scratch around in the back of any cupboards. It has been important that my objects are personal to me, after all there has to be a reason to paint them in the first place. 

First try at an underpainting on board

The more I look the more combinations open up to explore, but most importantly they have to be beautiful so I suspect that, while I suffer with a leaky roof, I will be producing many small (and possibly large) still life paintings for you to see.

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