Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Love Affair with Still Lifes

Almost from the time that I started taking art lessons, about 9 years ago, I have had a love affair with the still life genre.  When I first started out learning I would go buy magazines and art books trying to discover what artwork I liked.  Of course I liked any type of genre as long as I thought the work excellent, but as I started to learn how to draw and paint in the classroom, we would often be working from still life arrangements.  The more time I spent painting and drawing still lifes the more I looked at other historical and contemporary still life works and over time it became a true love affair.  I also realized after a few years that there was this attitude, shall we say, towards still lifes....especially "pretty" still lifes.  I think once I even read it was the least respected of all the genres. I am still baffled by that hierarchy since I love it so much. At some of my first student shows I would overhear lots of comments like, "I don't usually like still lifes" or "My wife likes still lifes, but I've never cared for them".  There was also this idea implied that still life painting was sort of a woman's art.  I've never really been the type of person who cares about these sorts of things. I just go on about my way unoffended and happily doing what I love. This week as I was pouring over inspiring still life images a humorous thought struck me that all of the ones I was looking at were male artists.  So here's to the men and women who love still life paintings!  I hope you enjoy these works as much as I do.

Chardin, Jean Baptiste- Simeon
French 1699- 1779

Mortelmans, Frans
Belgium 1865-1936

Carlsen, Soren-Emil
Denmark/American 1853-1932

Pushman, Hovsep
Armenian/American 1877-1966

Leffel, David A.
American 1931- _