Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Still Another

Still Another, 11x14" oil, Diane Mannion

Still Another Still Life

It's comforting to have a still life to work on when times are hectic.  A few hours or even minutes pushing paint around is meditative and soothing... at least for me.  It's like practicing the piano, finger exercises and skill polishing, especially when painting from life.

Found the silver bowl in a thrift shop.  I'd been looking for shiny things to paint and now have a collection to feed my still life habit...a graceful goblet, a candle stick, and a fabulous silver teapot rescued from layers of tarnish. 

Sometimes, it takes hours just to set up the objects and lighting.  Although I was painting next to a north light window, I found the most dramatic light when I closed the curtains and used a spotlight.  I also placed a sheet of cardboard on the left to cast a shadow.  It's like setting a stage for your painting... painting with objects.  I often start with a few items then add more after I start painting if the composition needs it.  In this case, the blue bottle and the grapes were added a day after.

The flowers are silk.  I'd rather paint real flowers, but knowing I would be working on this for a long time, I cheated with fake ones which don't wilt under lights.

Someone mentioned that my plein air landscape paintings have a calming effect... which is the opposite way I feel when racing to finish a painting or sketch in two hours, then I feel tense, focused and alert.  I can take as much time as needed with a still life, time slows down, painting in minutes or hours, days or weeks. 

Painting progression:

 Studio setup
Revised Spoon... 11/22/15


randijanedavis said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Insightful ! Well done

Diane Mannion said...

Thank you, Randi Jane Davis. Hope to paint with you someday out in the field, or beach.