STILL LIFE, OR CLOSE TO IT
Still Lifes must stir some ancient desire to compete with the past masters of the art of depicting objects strewn or arranged on a table top. I found myself dredging up old and well-worn ideas of space, color and composition, none of which allowed for much fresh interpretation on my part. But it's what happened when one day I opted to paint bottles, fruit and assorted other things. Previously I had injected a human presence into a bowl of fruit by having a hand reaching in from outside the frame to snatch away an apple or orange. Now it was just me and the objects, no help from some odd narrative of a thief desperate for a little vitamin C. Here are three results.
Years earlier I had used schematic bowls, cups, tables and chairs as subjects for my drawing and prints. But these grew from images based on lettering, and became flat, simplified renditions, essentially abstractions. In both, in different ways, I try to set up a convincing conjunction of subject-matter and the formal arrangement elationship between subject-matter and the formal arrangement that supports it.
Vase, Vase Falling, acrylic over archival pigment print, 2021, based on an 8-foot-wide pastel and pencil drawing from 1977
Above: Still Life with Candlestick, acrylic on paper, 2021, 22x30
Far left: Still Life With Lighted Candle, acrylic on paper, 2021, 30x22
Chair and Table, Gold, acrylic on paper, 1977