Art & Design Magazine

Go Big Or Go Home

By Ingrid Christensen

Go Big or Go Home

Still Life with Bowl of Water
30 x 40

Go Big or Go Home

While I was in Scottsdale for the Ignatov workshop, I made sure to visit as many galleries as possible.  At the top of my list was Gallery Russia, whose website I've browsed longingly for years.  It met and exceeded all of my expectations.  The web doesn't do justice to paintings; you have to see them in life to understand their subtleties of brushwork and color.  
While the figurative work drew me more than anything, I was also impressed by some of the still life work.  It's not something that I come across very often in Canada, but large scale still life seems to be an accepted and common form in eastern Europe.  I like it!  It has the benefit of allowing painters to work from life, while avoiding model costs.  So when I got back to Calgary, I set up this ambitions still life in the cool light of my north-facing window.  
My goal with this piece was to keep the color subdued and meaningful and to use value to draw the eye through the painting.  I used an inverted U-shaped composition with the bowl of water as the focal point, emphasizing the movement with the muted red in the flowers and fabric that bracket the bowl.   
The black and white version of this painting shows that my natural tendency is to use mostly midtones - a colourist's trait - but I think the value pattern is strong and propels the eye through the piece as it should.  
I'll post more large still life as they happen.  I enjoyed this one and will do many more.
Happy painting!

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