The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started August 9th, 2012 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 add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

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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