A still life painting gathers items that go well together visually, even when they seem somewhat disparate. One of the ideas is to give the viewer a visual assortment of colors, textures, and subject matters upon which to reflect, as they allow their eye to roam gently, and stop, throughout the picture. (Another idea is to exact a challenge upon the artist, to pull the elements together into a pleasing array.)
In the still life artwork, Tea by the Sea, the theme revolves around tea accoutrements and seashells, the hardness of ceramic and sea shells softened by the loosely draping fabric at the base, as well as that in the background. Flowers also make their appearance, as actual flowers in the vase, as well as images on both the teapot and cups (a hard surface) as well as the fabric backdrop (a soft one).
The push and pull and interplay of textures and subject matter creates a pleasing tension, There are so many things to look at, so many elements to view: behind the clear glass of the vase is a distorted view of the flowered fabric. Light shining on the array casts some area into shadow, but glints off upon the teapot as well as the large conch shell on the left, adding dimensions of color to each.
Life is a bit like this – a series of disparate elements that, taken separately, seem to have nothing to do with one another at all (seriously, have you ever found a teapot on the beach? Or set your hand upon a shell as you’re reaching for a tea cup?).
But these disparate elements, set together in one spot, begin to form a unity, a sense of completeness as a whole. There is light and darkness; hardness and softness; items from sea and land – and they all work together somehow to create a picture, one that invites the eye to roam around gently, then stop in one spot and another and reflect, and think.
Featured in 17 Fine Art America groups.
First Place Winner in the Traditional Containers Contest sponsored by the ROAR group, October 2019.
November 21st, 2018
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