Postcards From The Easel A Blog about the Art and Artifice of Still Life Painting
“Handmade Bowl, Grapes, Tibetan Rug”, oil on panel, 5×5 inches (sold)Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with another painter about oriental rugs. Not only are the patterns and designs endlessly fascinating, but the weavers often had an amazing sense of color harmony – the best of them seem to glow from within. And for hundreds […]
My easel and shadow box arrangementMy easel today. I set up most of my still life arrangements in a shadow box that sits directly next to my easel. It’s a simple wooden box – 24 x 24 x 24 inches – that gives me enough room to create the type of arrangements I prefer. The […]
“Teacup with Green Napkin”, oil on panel, 5×5 inchesA few decades ago, an artist who produced simple, easy to understand landscapes dubbed himself “The Painter of Light”. He became wealthy, famous, and beloved by millions (and utterly despised by the art world, but that is often the way of things). The reality, though, is that […]
“Teacup and Teapot”, oil on panel, 5×6 inches, 2008 (sold)Artists who paint like this often talk about creating a sense of “lost and found”. This refers to what happens at the edges of the objects and where shadows begin. Rather than creating a clear silhouette all around an object, an artist might choose to have […]
“Seashell, Silver, and Red Napkin”, oil on panel, 5×5 inches (sold)One of the bedrock principles of this kind of painting is that the light and the dark do not exist separately. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin: For the illusion of light to be successful, it must be seen in the […]
Metal objects are frequently very elaborate mirrors, reflecting and transforming their surroundings in fascinating ways. In this small passage from a larger painting, the handle of the knife captures everything around it, but restates it differently. Detail from “”Tangerine, Knife, Shotglass”, oil on linen, 24×30 inches.
Trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) is a form of still life painting where the representation is so close to reality that the viewer is tricked into thinking the actual objects are before them. It’s not my main interest or goal, but I have done a few of these paintings. Here’s a detail from one of […]
Smooth, hard surfaces make for crisp, well-defined highlights. In this section of a larger painting, the teacup shimmers with brilliant intense points of light, almost like miniature fireworks. Detail from “Teacup, Fork, and Two Oranges on Granite”, oil on linen, 8×10 inches. Please follow my stories to see what I’m working on right now.
In some paintings, the shadows are the real stars. That’s the case here, where the knife casts a dramatic shadow that flows across everything, and eventually right across the edge of the board and out of the picture. For your enjoyment: “Creamer, Knife, Bread”, oil on linen on panel, 5×5 inches. This painting was purchased […]
I’m not passionate about sushi. I enjoy it from time to time, and that’s enough for me. But the colors and textures – I could feast on those all day long. Here, the skin on a piece of mackerel has a shimmering metallic surface that was a delight to paint. For your enjoyment: “Sushi No. […]
Translucence occurs when a solid substance is thin enough to allow light to pass through it. Even stone can readily become translucent. The jade bowl was thin enough to allow much of the overhead light to shine through, creating a beautiful effect on the sides where it did not receive any light directly. Detail from […]
14 For your enjoyment, from 2019 “Bread, Pear, Knife” • Oil on linen • 9×12 inches • Sold This is one of my most recent paintings, which was purchased by a subscriber to my list. Subscribers see new paintings about a week before I show them anywhere else. To sign up, click here. […]
14 For your enjoyment, from 2019 “Orange, Knife, Teapot, Teacup” • Oil on linen • 9×12 inches • Sold Happy New Year! I want to give you my very best wishes for a happy, peaceful, and prosperous year to come. This is my newest painting, which was purchased by a subscriber to my […]
For your enjoyment, from 2015 “Creamer, Grapes, Tibetan Rug” · Oil on Panel · 5×5 inches · 2015 Take a guided tour of a painting
For your enjoyment, from 2015 “Teacup with Oriental Rug XII” · Oil on Panel · 5×5 inches · Sold Take a guided tour of a painting