Still Life

I have a particular fondness for still life painting – in part because I love playing with dimension and space within the picture plane. This genre also frequently allows me to develop a narrative which I feel enriches the viewing experience. Careful selection of elements, color and texture set the emotional tone and serve to mover the viewer around and into the painting.

In “Clementines” (11″ x 16″), the painting on the right, the fruit are presented as rich colorful jewels. The painting glows – from its coppery background, to the brilliant citrus yellows and greens of the sun drenched fruit. This painting draws upon the sensibilities of 17th century Dutch still life art in its use of dramatic light and spatial dimension. This is contrasted with quietness and a contemplation enhanced by the sculptural approach to objects and space.

This combination of exuberance and quiet is currently a major theme in my work. Recent studies of master of stillness such as Emil Carlsen and Hovsep Pushman have encouraged me to seek out the “space between” in my compositions. My paintings have always employed rich color and a love of natural light. The spare elegance of emptiness that is thoughtful and meaningful is a perfect complement that can only enrich the visual experience.

“Tulips in a Silver Pitcher” follows the rich tradition of Dutch still life and genre painting; but has a distinctly contemporary feel because of the lively use of rythmic light which moves the viewer’s eye around the picture plane while  color harmony and structure provide a calm elegance. The luminous quality of light is created by building many layers of transparant color.  This painting contains many of my favorite elements.  I love painting tulips because they never fail to delight the eye with their exuberant colors and gently nodding stems.  And pears always remind me of Ruebens ladies –voluptuous,  glowing and slightly preoccupied.  Their reflection is captured in the silver picture:  a small painting within a painting.

Click here to view the Still Life Gallery