Before I started focusing extensively on making collage art, I was a painter. I studied painting back in college, and during my freshman year, I had an assignment to create a still life series that used a different technique for each painting. I decided to make a series of bell peppers, and my first painting (pictured above), was meant to mimic the style of Vincent van Gogh.
My next painting focused on only using the complimentary colors orange and blue.
The next piece in the series used arbitrary color. Blue is actually one of my favorite colors, so it was only fitting that I used blue for this particular piece.
And lastly, I made a painting using more natural colors. I decided to make the piece look flatter so I could simplify the overall composition even more.
I made this charcoal drawing during my sophomore year of college. At the time, I was taking quite a few studio art classes, and often stayed at the studio pretty late working on artwork. Still life has always been a subject matter I’ve struggled with, simply because I haven’t found it to be all that exciting (I was more interested in figurative artwork or animal portraits). I thought this particular still life was a little unusual since it involved an animal skull, instead of the usual bowl of fruit or empty kitchenware. I also enjoyed working with charcoal since it can get pretty messy, which keeps things interesting.
This was the first painting that I did in a series of still life paintings back in college. I call them the “Reflective Still Life Studies,” since I played around with painting glass and the reflection of objects in mirrors. Since this was the first painting in the series, you can see that the strokes seem a little forced and uncertain. I was just getting the hang of mixing colors and painting still life, so it wasn’t until I got to the second painting in the series when the compositions flowed together a little better.
This still life oil painting is a piece that I made back in college during my freshman year. I made this back when I was studying painting in school, although I still worked on collages in my free time. I remember that this was made during a time when I was still learning the ins and outs of mixing and blending paint colors, so it isn’t as expressive as some of my other paintings.
I studied painting in college, and this is a piece that I made that was part of an oil painting series that depicted reflective surfaces. I remember really enjoying the process when I was working on this particular painting, it sort of fell together, while my other reflective paintings were more of a struggle.
I feel like still life was something I always dreaded in school. The compositions in real life that we worked from seemed boring to me – not as exciting as figurative work. The struggle was finding inspiration in old objects that were fished out of the teacher’s closet and strewn about in such a way to create interest for the entire class. Nowadays when I tackle still life, I like to work from reference photos of interesting food and drinks that I’ve seen (or eaten) on various trips.