Saturday, February 20, 2016

Still Life

The Still Life in art has always been an interesting genre. For an artist, it's a great way to explore formal qualities, but even more than this, it can be about something that transcends the depiction of objects. One only has to look at Cezanne, Morandi, Uglow or the Dutch 17th Century painters to realise there is more to the art of still life than the observation of the material world. 

The reason I chose an older style telephone is because a receiver left off the hook creates an ambiguity that a digital phone cannot suggest. In my painting it's unknown whether a person is on the line or not which is a different mystery than the words missed call on a digital phone. With a digital phone the text would need to be shown but an older phone provides an image that's purely visual

I thought I would include a few progress shots and how I set up the still life. I wanted a white phone but I could only find one in a cream, so I painted it over with white oil primer. I always imagined the receiver off the hook and hanging down, but when I set it up I instantly realised the cord would be too long for the composition to work. The only way around this problem was to make a loop and I think it created an interesting pattern and a better composition than what I initially imagined. I also liked the way the cord stretched under the weight of the receiver which contrasted with the curls in the looped section. 

As I have said in other posts, the colour white has always been significant to me as it evokes the possible transcendence of the physical. In this way, my still life paintings aim to combine earthly forms with a metaphysical colour.

 Listen2015, oil on MDF, 107.75 x 33.5 cm