Saturday, December 11, 2010

Still Life

It is amazing how much life one can find within the still life. The way the objects interact with one another has captured the fascination of artist from the beginning of time. From Rembrandt to CĂ©zanne the ability to bring objects that are as the French would say "morte" has been pursued by many and realized by few. Giacometti in an interview with David Sylvester talks of each object containing within itself the whole universe. As he says "having an inch of something, you have more chance of getting some feeling of the universe than if you claim to embrace the whole sky." He also talks about how attempting to copy a still object on a surface is both a prideful venture, yet as it is impossible to replicate exactly something living, it is also a humbling experience.

For me, painting the still life is about discovering the air that exist between the objects. How they relate to each other in space. Finding a balance between the shadow and the highlight, realizing that they are not two separate entities, they are one in the same, working together to bring the form to the surface. Without one, the other is useless. That is my aim. To try and find a balance of dark and light while addressing each part of the surface in order to create a whole image.

Here is one of my studies:

The three paintings in more detail. These were done in 2 hours as the light in the studio continued to fade:

Voila. J'ai commencé les peintres de la vie morte.

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

Leah, congratulations on progress with your still lifes. The balance that you address in your post is one of the most challenging aspects of artmaking in terms of light, color, and form. In addition to the artists you've mentioned, you might look at Sylvester's famed golden boys, Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon, as well as Caravaggio.