Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday July 10, 2011 Still Life Revisited



Still Life Revisited. One of the questions I have asked myself, is how much information is needed for the viewer to have enough? I think it is just the suggestion, and then the viewer can finish the painting. How much information is needed to get the essence, that you seek?

Now some might ask, why would an artist be concerned with the amount of information. My opinion is that the viewer has a very "sophisticated eye," even if he has not studied art. He has seen many images. And the artist never wants to talk down to the viewer, but create a space and invite the viewer into the painting. Give the viewer something to do, and allow him to finish the painting.

The bold pattern of blue and white says, Mexico, to me, it is such a classic pattern of design.




The original still life, that I took this piece from was somewhat abstract, and of course the still life revisited is also abstract.




This is another still life revisited. I have posted this one before, but this week I have made some adjustments, that I think makes the piece better.



STILL LIFE STATEMENT 2011
Place is an important influence on the artist, and what he creates. In this series of work I am using still life to talk about the place I live and work. I am choosing fruits, vegetables, and flowers that are grown locally and objects that I have a passion for; vintage pottery and beautiful weavings from Mexico. These are a part of the culture; music, songs, religion, food, and strong family traditions, here in New Mexico and the Southwest. Because the objects chosen for still life are objects used in domestic life, still life has become known as the domain of the female artist.

STILL LIFE BASED ON THE PLACE I LIVE AND WORK.

These objects have the possibility to recall memory both for the artist and for the viewer. It is here the dialog can begin between the work and the viewer. The artist is inviting the viewer to share the vision thus a visual language, a communication without words.

OBJECTS IN THE STILL LIFE HAVE THE POSSIBILITY TO RECALL MEMORY FOR THE ARTIST AND FOR THE VIEWER.

To enter into that place of stillness, is to be absence of sound or noise: hush, noiselessness, quiet, quietness, silence, soundlessness, stillness. For the artist, it is to become calm and focused. The still life is about the act of seeing. Though the artist is using and creating symbols that refer to the material world, what is seen in the final work is really about the way the artist sees.

STILL LIFE IS A PLACE OF STILLNESS.

To reposition an object in space creates new conditions of light. If one object is taken away or moved all things are changed; form, color harmony, relationships space and time. The artist Morandi regarded still life painting as a way of transcending time, of confronting "inert objects" of mediation upon their "inherent beauty and spending an eternity in placid contemplation."

STILL LIFE CAN TRANSCEND TIME.

To paint a still life, is to experience and record time. The objects are set upon the table and even if the objects are artificially lighted, there is constant change happening. As the sun moves through the sky during the day, the light coming through the studio window lights the different parts of the still life and the objects in the still life cast shadows; light and shadows are in constant flux.

STILL LIFE IS AN EXPERIENCE AND A RECORD OF TIME.

To paint from the still life is different than taking a picture of the still life, with a camera. When we take a picture of the still life, we are capturing the moment and only that moment. When the artist paints the still life, he is actually capturing a series of moments. An area or part of the still life appears to be lit up, because of the changing light. The artist begins work on that part of the canvas, the next time the artist looks at the still life, another part of the still life seems to be lit up, he may move to that area of the canvas to work on this most beautiful and bright area. It takes time to create a still life, the artist sees and makes adjustments based on this constant change of light.

STILL LIFE IS TO CAPTURE A SERIES OF MOMENTS.

8 comments:

  1. That statement could have been written by Picasso!

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  2. Oh, I love your description of still life as a series of moments & the ever-changing light.
    Like all three paintings, but especially the last, which seems to evoke a paradaisical garden, the bare yet beautiful hills, and the Mexican flag all at once. Nice!

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  3. A delightful pleasure... and an educational experience, too. I understand... and I like!

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  4. You have such beautiful thoughts and statements on still life ... equating them with moments of silence or light changing... simply wonderful!

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  5. Glorious images and colors and your artist's statement is fabulous. I love "still life as a place of stillness". Your art definitely says Mexico to me, too:)

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  6. "how much information is needed for the viewer to have enough?" i wonder about this too, annell, in terms of art, yes, but also in terms of people, story, history. even in terms of self. after all, we are only familiar with a part of our own stories, or so it seems to me, as they unfold, and as parts of self are understood in hindsight over and over again. even when i go into an old house or visit with an antique, a vintage piece of painted furniture, an old and well worn kitchen utensil, it is not the whole that renders the most, but the particulars of certain parts. we could spend lifetimes on any one item, any one aspect, and yet we rush through one whole thing/person/event after another. i do think linear time plays with us. i also think studying the parts allows us to transcend that game just a little.

    wonderful post.

    xo
    erin

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  7. I so enjoyed your words about still lifes, especially the difference between a photo and a painting. I also love thinking about a still life being a representation of something for the artist, like the local food you find.

    What is in the frame is fascinating to me (and also what is outside the frame). You've inspired me to take the camera out and play with this. The suggestion of more is compelling. I always appreciate understatement more than its opposite.

    Lovely being here.

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  8. Annell,

    This is a wonderful piece of writing.
    From the very start of the article, you engaged with those readers, who may not necessarily also be artists, or even artistic.
    I feel that your words have invited every reader, 'to help paint the picture'.
    We will all 'see' each detail in a different way and that lends itself to an interesting composition.

    Best wishes, Eileen
    BTW: I have been suffering dreadfully this week with 'pins and needles'. I always think of my poem and you Annell, during those times!!!

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