Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Simple Pleasures
20 x 20 Oil on Linen

This is a test. I deliberately set up the most amateurish still life I could. Nothing could be simpler. Anyone who has done a painting or two would probably look at this and be immediately bored, it is what most people think of as subject matter for a beginner. So here is the test. Can someone who has been painting for 30 years make a magnificent painting of daisies and fruit? The challenge here is not in painting the objects, one can quickly learn to do a recognizable painting, but to express them as fully as possible. The objects may be simple and common but they are still full of life. The daisies live and breathe, each stretching, reaching, trying to catch as much light as they can. The grapes float around like the corps de ballet behind the principle dancer. The apple sits proudly up front showing off its ruddy complexion. What a riot of color! Pinks, whites, yellows, reds, and the light passing through that green vase, all sitting on a beautiful dark wood table! What could be more glorious! What could be richer, fuller, more complex! Oh, right, sorry...I forgot that we were doing the simplest most boring thing in world.....

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