Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Still Life Objects

Pickle Jar
24 x 28
This composition came about because I bought the low sodium pickles instead of regular.  For the first time ever, my pickles got mouldy in the fridge, turning them into painting subjects, not food.

Knowing that one of my largest objects would be green, I chose a complimentary piece of red fabric to place behind it and linked this dark fabric to the foreground by sprinkling in some red pearl onions.  This created a nice circular composition and broke up the expanse of white tablecloth.  I find small, nondescript objects really useful in still life set ups and put dried leaves, petals, onions and other little things in wherever I need to link the major elements, break up space, or create a path for the eye.  They're versatile little workers.

Sliced bread is something that I've been wanting to use for a long time.  I love its value range from the dark, warm crust to the near-white interior.  Its silhouette is wonderfully interesting as well, full of irregular bumps and crevices. 

The chopsticks in the foreground serve as both a lead in to the circular rhythm of the set up and to punctuate it so that it didn't become repetitive.  They are an edgy, rigid element in an otherwise organic, rounded group of objects.

Altogether, they'd make a strange meal for the stomach but a nice one for the eyes.

Happy painting!


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