Art & Design Magazine

A Return to Still Life

By Ingrid Christensen

A return to still life

Peach Bowl
24 x 20

With the onset of winter, I've been thinking less of beach scenes and have been setting up still life scenes in the studio again.
Sergei Bongart said that "if you can paint still life, you can paint anything."  It's true.  There's no better training ground for eyes and hand than an unmoving group of objects under unchanging light.  Peaches don't get tired, need breaks, or get paid, so I'm free to make use of them until they start to sag with age.  In the meantime, they're a treasure trove of colour, shape and value to explore and relate to the other objects on the table.
This painting has a lot of cool neutrals which make the more intense peach color sing in comparison.  My goal was to avoid using harsh, high chroma mixtures and making the most of greyed mixtures - something that seems to be a preoccupation with me at the moment.
I also wanted to leave some line work in this painting.  The mingling of 2 dimensional drawing lines and the illusion of 3 dimensions that I've tried to capture in the objects appeals to me.  It's a reminder of the painter's artifice: we're always working on a flat surface and trying to simulate depth.
This painting is at Tutt Gallery in Kelowna.  I hope you'll go and visit it if you're in the area.
Happy painting!

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