Paintings are traditionally divided into five genres: history painting, portraits,
genera-painting (everyday scenes), landscapes and still-life. In addressing the still life, I wanted to create distinctive works. The question was, how to accomplish this?
I began by laying objects on a table, pottery, weavings, local produce and flowers. I make drawings and I paint, but the works seemed to be “like works I have seen before.”
Now, I draw the still life, deconstruct and than reconstruct. The composer, Arvo Part said, “there is a need to concentrate on each sound, so that every blade of grass is as important as a flower.” And so it is, in this series of still life, the viewer is able to concentrate on each shape so that all of the shapes have equal importance and I rearrange them to become “patterns of life,” constructing works that are more universal than the original works.
To enter into a still life, is to enter that place of stillness. A place that is absent of sound or noise; hush, noiselessness, quiet, quietness, silence, soundlessness, mute, stillness. Places where I have experienced the stillness I am speaking of, are places of new falling snow, underwater, experiences of desert, high in the mountains and in forests.
For the artist, it is to become calm and focused. The still life is about the act of seeing. Though the artist begins with symbols that refer to the material world, what is seen in the final work are shapes rearranged, created with hard edges, flat color, and careful gradations of color or value
A.S. Byatt tells us, in her book, Still Life,“... it is only after the mind has cleared itself of the flow of daily preoccupation, planning, expectation, that the moment of a death can be known for what it is, and one’s life mapped, prospectively and retrospectively, to that threshold”... one last breath, and then stillness, or death.
This image of the still life is new. Together, we see it again... for the first time.