Thursday, 14 February 2013

Oil Painting 59 - Still life with oil lamp

A gift from mother this oil lamp has proved surprisingly useful when abandoning the world of mains electricity. It can also be mesmerising to watch, although writing this makes me question our decision to live without a television.

Trying to sum up this years experience in a series of paintings has guided me towards wanting to paint some of the few objects that occupied our limited space and have made the journey with us, and in turn have me tackle a few still life paintings which I haven't explored much at all in the last few years. 

The ceramic piece behind the lamp is a hand thrown faceted bottle vase with a celadon blue glaze by a talented potter and good friend Alex Shimwell.

As this is my first venture into still life for some time I do not feel I can talk with any real authority. I spent a lot of time at college looking at Paul Cezanne's still lifes ...

Still life with bottles and apples - Paul Cezanne

... and the obvious Van Gogh is never far away...

Still Life Glass with Wild Flowers - Vincent Van Gogh

Outside of brushwork and colour use I have not really abstracted the subject a great deal. I have enjoyed the dark band of the edge of the table mat the lamp is sat on bouncing around the frame forming strong diagonals but in honesty this was not premeditated and just something I began to exaggerate as the painting developed. What is interesting for me is that when you 'zoom in' to a relatively small scale inanimate subject and leave the composition quite sparse it exposes / lays bare your treatment of the paint, your handwriting, or 'style' for want of a better word.

I often liken an artists gesture to that of a singer's voice, Van Gogh's mark-making is so very individual and distinctive. I can only hope through work and love of the craft that a similar iconic visual language comes through in my work.

1 comment:

  1. These paintings are really lovely. So adorable! These are great example of artistry. Thanks a lot for sharing.