Still Life in Oil
After a visit to a New York City thrift store in 2022, I acquired a few new inspiring still life objects and arranged them into a suitable composition. I started this painting over a year ago and unintentionally put it on hold for about six months, as I focused on my masters of liberal studies classes, traveled, and did a few smaller art projects.
This summer, I picked back up where I left off on this painting, all the while feeling I was far away from the end. At 16" x 20", this canvas was on the medium/large side for me, and my progress felt slow. Eventually, a switch flipped in my brain, and I realized this weekend that I was close to finishing, close to being happy with it and noticing fewer and fewer sections to be reworked. Then, I finished it late last night, having no reason to stay up late on the night before labor day other than that I was so close to being done.
I think a key part of feeling satisfied with your progress in a representational painting is abandoning the pursuit of perfect realism, of noticing the lovely way you've painted something that accentuates the way light is bouncing around, the way fabrics are folded - drawing the viewer's eyes to the things you liked about your composition in the first place. There is, of course, a delight in succeeding at rendering something well and true to the reference, but this can't be my only goal, as there would be no reason for it to be a painting instead of a photograph.
Posted on: September 4, 2023Continue Reading