At the beginning I avoided drawing and painting Still Lifes. They were boring and dull. Paintings of flowers, apples and egg plants just didn’t excite me at all. I was impatient and couldn’t wait to get started on Portraits. But then to my surprise as time went by I found many pieces that I did enjoy. It was the colours, the composition, the brush strokes, play of light that appealed to me. I also knew that working on them would improve my painting and felt that I must try them out again.
I signed up for Peter Homitzky’s class Painting from Life, Still Life and Landscapes hoping to experiment and learn. When I walked into class that first day I saw the set up for the still life was an egg-plant and a few onions. Eggplants? Onions? I promptly ignored my plan to try out new things and made a beeline for a spot at the pose on the other side of the class where there was a tall Russian posing.
In the middle of the week that followed I noticed that a large part of the class had moved to the still life section. And rightly so as there was an absolutely gorgeous set up with electric blue bottles. But by the time realisation dawned there were no spots available.
For weeks 3 and 4, I made sure that I asked for a spot at the Still Life setup. I was not disappointed. Peter’s setups were outstanding and I loved working on them. I’m sure that the onion/eggplant one was not by him! The piece below is the second one and it remained incomplete as mid way there was an accident which broke the pitcher and the bowl into several pieces : )
While that did happen I’m just using it as an excuse here : ) Peter made sure that the Still Lifes were not marked so that each day the setup was a bit different from the previous day. He wanted us learn to be comfortable working despite the changes. The truth is that I missed a couple of classes that week and was hoping to finish using ref photos that I’d taken : ) I’ve left the painting behind so I guess I’ll just have to start another one!
Great fun was had making these and I enjoyed the freedom that came with letting go of the expectation that everything would stay exactly the same in the setup day after day. This even helped me in my morning class. I also learnt to add elements to my painting which were not there in the setup. Peter is a great teacher and I do hope to go back for another class with him when next I’m at the League.