personal statement

Two Pears Painting and Artist Statement

2 pears 2008.jpg

Two Pears – 5" x 7" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

With this painting I was fascinated with the high key palette of the setup. I love the calming effect of the light, light blue background and how the pears seem to float on the surface while also being grounded to the vertical background by the shadows the pears cast. I was also fascinated how I was seeing so many colors in this relatively restrained setup.

Lately I have been branching out with painting techniques while also listening to podcasts on somatic learning, specifically podcasts about the Feldenkrais method. I have not yet found how these two worlds intersect, however I do know that by listening to these lectures I have been able to find the words to express what I am striving to do with my current paintings. Thus these worlds are intersecting and I am growing with the experiences.

Below is an artist statement I have started to develop (an artist statement is often stressed as something every artist should have) but so far I have only been discussing my paintings as they are created. This is my first attempt in describing what I am striving for as an artist and why I continue to paint these still lifes. Please read on, it is an early draft and I would love to receive feedback or questions if there are areas where I have not elaborated enough. Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading it, Liz


With my paintings I am trying to capture a sense of emotional harmony. A peaceful happiness that can be found in the everyday, not some fleeting feeling that can only be felt when one leaves their routine. I feel that I gain from these paintings of still life objects that most everyone is familiar with. I feel that in capturing these objects my life becomes more calm and whole, as I do believe that with a sense of peacefulness one is able to find their inner self and thus a happier aspect of life.

I always strive to make the most of each painting experience. Typically I also incorporate a painting technique or principle in a way so I can test my understanding of it while also painting a beautiful scene. Art is such a personal experience that I feel I must impart a part of me in each piece. I do this by incorporating my love of beautiful objects along with my love to experiment and learn.

An aspect of my personal character is that I do not like driving the same way to a destination too often. I start to get bored and I want to see what else is going on or what else exists along a new and different path. My love of exploring and seeing what is around me is also recorded in my paintings, as I tend to work in series. I get interested in how a certain design scheme can be repeated while also being subtly different. I will paint a subject over and over again, relearning or enhancing my understanding of the object until I believe I know it. I then move onto another object, but before long I will return and redress the previous object with new information, thus the paintings are different, but hopefully still impart some of the fun of what I have been learning in them.

What is a still life?

On Thursday evening I was asked about my painting and why I paint still lifes. The person asking me this question went on to say that she really did not "get" still lifes. She wondered if they were just technique or composition. I can understand that some people may not get emotionally involved with the genre that is still life, as all art appreciation is very individual and personal. As the discussion progressed, there were a few more people at the table that agreed with her and asked me to elaborate...

My answer was that in still life paintings I get an opportunity to focus on items that are in everyday life and items that most people are familar with, and then I interpret it and share my vision of this simple item that brings about a greater awareness and appreciation of this object. For me, life is about appreciating and enjoying what is around you. By enabling opportunities where your awareness of specific items or surroundings are increased, life becomes more full and full of new opportunities. I love it when I learn about a new item or even an idea that I never encountered before, all of the sudden the world has just opened to me a new avenue, a new opportunity to investigate.

In my life, I try to make the most of it. I like the adventure of new surroundings, new people, and with still life, the new posibilities of appreciating any object, has just made my daily life become more full and colorful. I may not always succeed in presenting this world view in my still lifes, that is the artist journey I am on now. How to paint well and present my message in an effective and creative way.

Tonight I investigated some other websites that discuss still lifes. Here are a few links to ones I liked:

Wikipedia has a great article on still lifes. This website is a great glossary of many art terms. And here is a blog that goes into great detail about what a still life is. If you get a chance do not miss out on this!

Tomorrow I will post a small painting of very common items that I believe represents how simple items can be grouped and presented in a manner that increases appreciation for the simple things in life... Until next time, Liz

Pear Still Life and Blogging Thoughts

Green Pear on checked cloth 2008.jpg

Green Pear on a Checkered Cloth – 6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD

This was another fun experiment with paint and pattern.

I typically always write about my painting experience; however for the past few days I have been pondering on the wonderful outlet that blogging is! I have been having such a fun time with it, and I feel I have yet to maximize the communication potential. This may be because I do not interact enough on other’s blogs, however I do so enjoy receiving updates from other artists like Carol Marine, Karin Jurick, and Jelaine Faunce. Yesterday I discovered the whole Julie/Julia project blog, and this blog began in 2002 and has essentially been completed for almost 4 years! Wow, it is just amazing the fun stuff people share on the internet! I am glad I am participating in the blog-o-sphere… And in that vein of thought, I will share with you all some of the other more regular activities I do in order to improve my drawing/rendering skills beyond painting as often as I can fit it into my schedule…

One of the things I do is that I practice drawing as often as I can, the best opportunities for my during the work week is dedicating my lunch hours to drawing. When work is calm enough for me to take a break, I often go to a nearby mall that has a communal seating area with tables. I am working my way through Bridgeman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life, it is a tome of over 300 pages of drawings of people and anatomy. I have been using my lunch breaks to get through this book since last November, and as of today I am at a little more than half-way through the book. I anticipate once the weather warms up in the DC area with Spring and Summer I will head outdoors and actually sketch from life at the nearby parks. However until the weather is a comfortable 70 degrees or more I will stay indoors (as I get chilled easily), under a large skylight with piped in music and the noises of people buying products often found in malls. When I start drawing original scenes I will scan and post those drawings as well to share on my blog.

Happy Easter to everyone! Liz

Artists I find Inspiration From:

In recognition of inspiration, I have recently added links to artists I admire and enjoy viewing their work. The links are in the lower right margin of this blog. I would like to encourage you to click on a few of them and see the wonderful and very individual talent that is out there in the world...

Just to clarify, these links are not the only ones I like the most. I will add more links as time goes by. This is just my first crack at adding links to other websites from my blog.


Inspiration and the Spirit of Art

For several weeks I have been thinking about inspiration and the spirit of art. I mull over these two ideas as I go about my daily activities and wonder how they influence my life.

Firstly, I believe these ideas are symbiotic, and without the other, both my drive to create art and the feelings and emotions I strive to capture will flounder and fade. To me, living well, enjoying my surroundings, and finding the fun in discovery are what drive my inspiration. It is these thoughts and feelings that I want to share with the world. For I enjoy and like life. So I guess the spirit of art is the contextual environment I live in. It is my day to day existence, and when I paint, draw, or design I am discovering a means to share these feelings, emotions, and experiences.

As I have been thinking about this for some time, I am sure as I progress on my journey of life and becoming a more accomplished artist, I will have more to say about how the Spirit of Art and Inspiration are so important to me and how to better define how these two ideas impact my life and my outlook.