Friday, January 6, 2012

Approaches to still life taken by various well-known artists

Now I would like to show you some different approaches to still life that have been taken by various well-know artists, mainly in watercolor.  Here are numerous examples, and again, please express your opinion about which ones appeal to you most.  Please respond by commenting on the blog itself.  Your comment will appear immediately.  I will be in Florida from Jan 8-15, so I may not get a chance to comment on your comments until I get back.

These are certainly more complicated that what we will probably tackle in class, but they are all examples of still life paintings that I have seen in recent years and admired.  Some are from AWS and BWS shows.  A few are oils, and are very enticing.  Many are tightly rendered and very precise.  That does not mean we are always going to paint that way, although we will at least once.  If you have any images on file that inspire you personally, please email them to me and I will put them in the next post.  Also let me know if there are any still life subjects you are just dying to paint, and we will see what we can do!   

--Susan Murphy, ARThouse, January 6, 2012

Keiko Yasuoka  "Just Polished"
Jean Uhl Spicer

Shirley Travena  "Arctic Poppies"

Shirley Travena  "Large Plate of Fruit"

Shirley Travena  "Still Life with Yellow Cloth"

Christine Lafuente  "Strawberries and Bottles"

Christine Lafuente  "Lemon with Eggshells and Teacups"

Christine Lafuente  "Sink and Bottles'

Linda Baker  "Woven Patterns"

Denny Bond  "Rotary"

Keiko Yasuoka  "Beautiful Morning"

Chris Krupinski  "Pears and Distortion"

Kim Poole  "Spice of Life"

Dave Maxwell "Her Royal Majesty"

Judy Nunno  "Identity Crisis"

Irena Roman  "Shadow"

Leigh Murphy  "Morning Light"

Barbara Fox  "Blessings"

Raymond Ewing  "Bings in a Silver Bowl"

Nancy Stark  "A Supporting Role"


  1. Wow! These really expand the subject matter of the still life "genre." I think this class could go on....and on...and on...Can't wait to start!

  2. I am a huge Shirley Travena fan. Would love further exploration.

  3. Out of these new ones I'd say the sink and bottles and the Rotary are the ones I like best

  4. I love the beautiful colors on Shirley Travena's work and 'Pears and Distortion' the most.

  5. Hi Susan,
    I hope you had a good vacation in Florida.
    Here are my preferences regarding the various approaches to Still Life taken by various well-known artists.

    Christine Lafuente "Strawberries and Bottles" and "Lemon with Egg shells and Teacups".
    Barbara Fox "Blessings".
    Chris Krupinski "Pears and Distortion".

    I really admire all the artists that you have listed , but those above have taken an impressionistic and minimalist approach to still life that I find intriguing and inspiring. Lafuente's approach also reminds me of Giorgio Morandi's style of painting, another Big artist of the past .
    Soooo much to learn!
    Gloria Tanton

  6. Thanks to all of you for your comments so far! I also am crazy about British artist Shirley Travena's amazing paintings. Her approach is difficult to emulate, though! And Christine Lafuente's paintings are so luscious, they make me want to paint in oil... The feature most of the above still lifes have that I admire a lot is a beautiful effect of the light. Be sure when taking still life photos to try to capture some interesting light, if at all possible. In the first class we will discuss setting up and photographing still life.

  7. I am so looking forward to this class.
    "Woven Patterns" fascinates me ..I don't think I'd ever have the patience to paint something like it.
    My favorite is "Blessings". I got to see it in person and the light play in it is incredibly beautiful.
    I would love to learn to paint the shine into objects like the artists of "Her Royal Majesty" and "Rotary" accomplished. I also loved the colors blended into the shadows of "Morning Light"