Still Life

Still life paintings

This will be a short post as I am nursing a painful left elbow on an ice pack. I developed bursitis on Friday, I am not sure why as I didn’t hit my elbow on anything but too many sun salutations in yoga is my number one suspect.

We have had a lot of really bad weather lately. We seem to be cantering our way through the alphabet of storms: Atiyah, Brendan, Ciara, Dennis, Ellen, Francis etc. This means I have rarely left the house, except to buy food, walk the dogs in our local park or to go to a yoga class, although yoga will be out of bounds until my elbow recovers now.

So, whilst Storm Ciara was blasting her way overhead, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to set up a number of still life compositions to work from. I had painted a number of largish canvases (80x60cm) and felt in wanted to paint something smaller for variety’s sake, and also something that I could complete in a short (gloomy) day.

My past forays into Still Life painting explored paleness/whiteness, and they were largely inspired by the work of Morandi. These were medium-sized paintings. I liked the calmness of the plain backgrounds.

In this short series of paintings, I was more interested in colour. I was particularly inspired by a patterned cloth that my husband, Seamas, had found in a charity shop many years ago. I liked the warmth of the colours.

This was my first painting. I liked the way the colours of the flowers chimed with the fruit on the plate.

I think my second painting was better probably helped by better light on the day that I painted it.

Then I decided to focus on the fruit. A tiny slice of it!


A Slice of Lemon (SOLD)

Then finally a more traditional composition with a cup and red cloth. I have noticed before how I am drawn to painting reds in winter.

The bright colours in these paintings cheered me up. Having completed this short series I felt ready to return to large canvases and more muted tones.

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15 replies »

  1. Good morning Emma. What a treat to wake up to these lovely still life pieces. They are stunning. I particularly like two and four….Thank you very much.
    As for Bursitis, I know how painful that can be. My husband used to suffer a great deal and his was caused from playing squash! Resting the area is key. Happy painting:)

    • Thank you for your king words, Janet. I think the bursitis was brought on my yoga and my pulling my hand brake on – I live on a hill and I pull it up at an awkward angle. I am resting the elbow and it’s no longer swollen but still tender. I expect it will take 2-3 weeks to recover fully.

  2. I really enjoyed the still life paintings on the colorful fabric background. I liked the first one a lot, but you’re right, as I scrolled down to see the second one, it really comes alive.
    Hope your elbow feels better. I used to love yoga but I noticed I’d frequently have pinched nerves so I ended up switching to tai chi which works better for me.

    • The elbow is on the mend, thank you, Melissa. I have tried tai chi but I don’t think I have the right attitude as I found it both difficult and “boring” as we only seem to do the one set of moves! I’ll just have to wait to enjoy yoga again. I think I need to stop trying so hard!

      • Oh, I wondered about that. What I actually do is “Classical Stretch”, designed by a retired ballerina, and she borrows heavily from tai chi but she varies the moves a lot. I have over 50 routines saved, and each one is different. I’m like you, though, I think I try too hard and then things hurt. Glad you are on the mend!

  3. Love that little slice of lemon. Reminds me of some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s luscious tiny fruit bowls. Off topic, I think yoga is supposed to be good for you. You sure you’re not in an “extreme yoga” class by mistake? 😋

    • Ha!Ha! Yes, it’s not your regular yoga. It’s pretty energetic. We do a lot of sun salutation etc. Thing is, I am one of the younger people in the class! Most of the othr ladies are in their 60s and one is in her early 70s!!

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