The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog starts in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to just add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from the live model.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Still Life Revisited

I have been concentrating on the figure for the last two plus years and have done only one "stand alone" still life painting in that time. My current project is a relatively large and complex female nude. A wooden wine crate found it's way into the picture as a prop. Its sole purpose was to raise the models leg and make the pose more dynamic. As the painting progressed it became clear the crate provided a perfect little stage on which to mount a still life.

Seated Nude (unfinished detail), oil on canvas, 2014

I began pondering subject possibilities and ended up arranging a group of objects that were already playing a role in the painting. Together they satisfied my craving for a good level of complexity and hence difficulty. Alone and relaxed in the studio I zoned in on the setup - just like old times. At this stage of my career still life is not where I want to be. But in the context of a figurative composition I'll gladly make visits.

Many of my favorite artists have included still lifes in their figurative paintings. Manet's Luncheon on the Grass has a wonderful arrangement of clothes and a scattered picnic basket dominating the lower left corner of the composition. I'm sure the naked woman juxtaposed with clothed men commands most viewers attention but what a knockout still life!
Edouard Manet, The Luncheon on the Grass, 1862-1863

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