Saturday, 10 November 2018

Creating still life – art in process

I live in a very small flat – with one Other Half and three cats – and this really is the main space that I have in which to create art. It’s essentially why I aim to produce original, small art for small homes – I know what living in a small space actually means!

And thats also why my process for still life paintings is to photograph the subjects – and then paint from the screen you see here: I simply don’t have the room to set up a still life and then paint from life.

The roll of felt is used as my background because it absorbs the light rather than reflecting it back, as black card does, for instance, and I like painting modern subjects in a way that nods toward a more classical look. I love Rembrandt’s dramatic use of light and dark for a reason.

I do, however, have a plastic crate in which I keep basics with which I can create still life works. After seeing Matisse in the Studio at the Royal Academy last year, I realised that I was doing what he had done, collecting bits and pieces and then using them in photos, paintings or drawings.

For that reason, I call it my Matisse Box, because it echoes how one of my personal household gods carried ceramics and fabrics and more around with him to set dress paintings. Indeed, it inspired me to put these odds and ends together and to collect more.

This is a time-lapse of creating a still life for a painting.

The resulting painting hasnt been done yet, but when it has been, it – together with others – will be available to buy at

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