I’ve just finished up a new online workshop, Still Life Oil Painting, so I’ve been wonderfully immersed in glittery, shiny objects. The workshop, coupled with the sparkle of the holidays has been a feast for my eyes! I grew up celebrating Christmas and my favorite part was sitting alone in our living room staring at the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, looking for my favorite ornaments. So the enchantment and allure of still life shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did!
Creating the workshop gave me a renewed appreciation for the little treasures that I’ve enjoyed over the years. I loved do a bit of hunting for special objects to paint and assemble.
I spent about three months planning and producing the workshop, all the while delving deeper into the genre, gaining more appreciation as I worked. Although I’ve put my time in doing still life, as most art students are admonished to do, I hadn’t quite understood how much creativity it affords, or how much it has the potential to improve my skills. I’m pretty hooked on it now and plan on devoting a good amount of energy towards still life in my personal work during the next couple years.
I loved spending more quiet, contemplative time at the easel. It really reminds me of my illustration days. Back then, I worked small on a tabletop with drawing tools like Carb Othello pencils and graphite. Lots and lots of hours under a Luxo lamp at a little Picket drawing table. Although I wasn’t working by direct observation, I was rendering and working much more detailed than I generally have since. There is something so relaxing and satisfying about that kind of work that I really forgot about.
I’ve been sitting on a stool rather than standing at my easel, which quiets me down and lets me work for longer periods of time. I also have a still life stage with one light source and only lights on my easel. I have the “house” lights turned off in the studio so I don’t get the ambient light spilling into my still life scene. So the studio is super duper cozy at night. I keep it very toasty and warm so I want to stay! I set up my computer and phone next to my workstation so I could take a break now and again to feed any device addiction without too much interruption.
Besides having revelations about composition, lighting, point of view and all things oil painting, I was lucky enough to have my friend Roger drop in a few times for some photography and photoshop lessons. I’m learning how to shoot tabletop photography and masking techniques in Photoshop which are crazy and endless. Lots and lots to learn. It’s so interesting and fun! That’s another blog post altogether!
I always think it’s a good thing to bite off more than you think you can chew. Which makes me think about New Year’s Resolutions! Mmmmm!!! What should be next?