STILL LIFE

Showing 17–28 of 28 results

  • Majolica Plate with Fruit

    £1,750

    On our first visit to Florence we found this lovely plate at Armando Poggi (apoggi.com).  It is so typical of Majolica pottery representing colourful fruit, flowers and leaves in a beautiful design.  Setting it on repurposed scaffolding planks in a simple plywood orange box that had held a Christmas wreath I added actual fruit to mirror the plate’s trompe l’oeil subject.   The interplay between the three dimensional ‘real’ fruit with the plate’s glazed peaches and lemons makes the magic of Realist painting come alive. Now framed in a simple white and gold spoon shaped moulding the vibrant colours come into their own in this statement painting. 

    Oil on linen  2016  158 x 208 cm  62 x 82 inches

     

  • Peaches and Small Davenport Jug

    Peaches & Small Jug

    This is the first painting of these handmade bricks and a Davenport Jug.  We were given the jug and quite a few other Davenport pieces of pottery  from a family collection and their role in still life compositions is invaluable.  The knife is a gilder’s knife with an unusual, sloping blade. I have tried but I must confess I have not mastered gilding,  but have found an excellent craftsperson who has.  For the painting? The facets and pattern are  fascination needing minutely different colours and values of light and dark to create the sense of 3D.    It was quite a surprise when I realised the handle is decorated with green scales of a snake and its head is that bump – you can just make it out with the magnifier!  As so often happens when one thing is a labour – painting the peaches with their furry bloom, went just like that.  It is rather a dear little painting and has a very appropriate home.

    Oil on canvas  2014  50 x 45cm   20  x 18in

  • Peony, Plums and Pears

    £1,250

    This painting makes a splendid and richly colourful statement.  The fruit glow against the dark background where it is possible to see the tracery of a 20th century iron screen.  The scale of the piece means all the subject matter is larger than life  This contributes to the need for a space that it can illuminate –  a large wall – which it does magnificently.  The frame is another of the bespoke range that I had made in Florence by the skillful couple who run their workshop producing elegance, as you see here as well as some more unusual and colourful frames.

    Oil on linen   2013  72 x 57cm   28 x 22in

  • Pink and Green Still Life

    £475

    Summer 2019 was hot and that is the reason for this still life. Outside everything seemed dry and baked and in my mind came the colours I wanted to see, like a mental ‘cool bath’.  Oddly enough these were a deep, magenta pink and eau de nil green – the colours of the crumpled paper and the candlestick.  Hanging around the antique lemonade bottle, a string of garlic brought to my mind dried fields of grass and hay.  The other old bottle conjured up water with its rippled vintage glass.  The words moulded into the surface say SCRUBB’S on one side and FLUID on the other.  I have just looked on my computer and find the rest of its description to be Scrubb’s fluid ammonia poison.  Well, that makes sense.  The glass has bubbles in it and a sort of mica quality.  I can tell it will feature again soon in another painting.  A portrait of Turkish Girl was leaning against the back wall where I set up these objects.  Just visible is the edge of the panel with its shadow forming a vertical accent on the right.  Rational, pictorial logic and feeling guide the compositions one makes and, here, the depth of shade provides an anchor and the idea of shade. 

    Oil on panel  2019   50 x 42cm  20 x 17in   Frame blocky squared, painted, distressed cream finish

  • Pumpkin

    £275

    Oil on panel

    23 x 28cm   2021

  • Red drape and white dish

    Another story goes with this painting.  The purpose was two-fold.  First to paint something, in this case the cloth, that would be as vivid a red as paint on canvas can possibly be.  The second is to paint something that is white, but how do you do that when the lightest colour of paint you have is white?  What other colours do you use?  This whole bowl cannot be all white if it is to look like a three dimensional object.   Darker paint is needed to show it is turning toward a darker background.  But what colours are needed so that they all look part of something that is glazed and white?  The piece of red silk was something I had bought from the ‘cupboard’ on my last day at St Martins School of Art many years ago.  I still have it, soft and brilliant, folded up in an old (vintage) laundry hamper made of willow that  creaks when the lid is lifted.  The bowl, is in fact a sauceboat with the saucer attached and was given to me as a leaving present by a good friend at Angel Academy – Rusudana Gointi – a terrific artist.  I still have that too, on a shelf among coffee pots, tea pots, glasses and odds and ends.  But this is where its real life was – and in Rusudana’s painting of it.  After six years I realised I could finally part with the painting and it is with another friend – up the road and around a few corners – in her house it looks very at home.  

    Oil on canvas  2013  85 x 65cm   33 x 26in 

  • Silver jug, pear and plate

    Another story goes with this painting.  The purpose was two-fold.  First to paint something, in this case the cloth, that would be as vivid a red as paint on canvas can possibly be.  The second is to paint something that is white, but how do you do that when the lightest colour of paint you have is white?  What other colours do you use?  This whole bowl cannot be all white if it is to look like a three dimensional object.   Darker paint is needed to show it is turning toward a darker background.  But what colours are needed so that they all look part of something that is glazed and white?  The piece of red silk was something I had bought from the ‘cupboard’ on my last day at St Martins School of Art many years ago.  I still have it, soft and brilliant, folded up in an old (vintage) laundry hamper made of willow that  creaks when the lid is lifted.  The bowl, is in fact a sauceboat with the saucer attached and was given to me as a leaving present by a good friend at Angel Academy – Rusudana Gointi – a terrific artist.  I still have that too, on a shelf among coffee pots, tea pots, glasses and odds and ends.  But this is where its real life was – and in Rusudana’s painting of it.  After six years I realised I could finally part with the painting and it is with another friend – up the road and around a few corners – in her house it looks very at home.  

    Oil on canvas   2013  85 x 65cm   33 x 26in 

  • Small White Porcelain Basket

    All the things that my mother liked are in this painting. Fine Limoges  china – the basket.  Blue flowers – the clematis.  Mother-of-pearl – the box.  I added the limes.  And setting it all up was most certainly ‘smoke and mirrors’.  Do click this link  Small White Basket (maybe it isn’t working yet but it will very soon).  See how it all went.

    Oil on canvas  2016  45 x 55cm   18 x 22in

  • The Framer’s Workshop

    Another Angel piece.  I feel as if everything done there is collaborative work but no-one else will ever agree with this!  The instruction, guidance and critique we received at Angel was constant, ever pushing us, sometimes quite inexplicably impossible – but we ‘got there’ and learnt how to go beyond ‘there’.  To find things fitting for this Tenebrist work I had to scour the streets of Florence . . . searching for a theme.  There were a number of ideas, but none of them passed muster.  Finally I went to visit the workshop where I was beginning to have pieces framed and Paola, wife and half of the couple who make lovely frames, true to form, delved among a shelf under their large work table.  Everything was covered in sawdust and age but with a smile she opened a jar and tipped out jewels for me to look at.  You can see them spilling onto the stone table top in the painting.  They are glittering flakes of Shellac.  She showed me the bottle of Ultramarine Pigment – dusty on the outside, with pigment attached here and there to the inside.  The hammer !  See the panel pins knocked in any-old-how.  Once it all started to get really exciting the hardest thing was to find the final part.  That tin holding rusty nails.  By the way, you can buy rusty nails in Florence – for renovation which happens everywhere.  But the final piece was eluding me, I wandered around and around the delicatessen opposite Zecchi, by the way again Sandro (Zecchi) gave me some of their labels which you can see on the bottle of pigment.   It was Sunday,  I explained to the assistant what I was looking for.  He came up with some suggestions, exactly the things I had liked but they were no good.  They were all round and I needed a rectangular accent.  If you really want to know what that tin is, you must write and ask me.  The painting is no longer with me having been sold some years ago.  But I still have the rusty nails, the shellac, and the box.

    Oil on canvas   2012   66 x 63cm    26 x 25in 

  • Tube Wringer

    £950

    Oil on canvas

    50 x 54cm   2020

  • White Poppy, Orange and Tankard

    A metal tankard and a brass plate, flowers, shiny fabric, a half peeled orange, they are all challenges that I wanted to meld into a subtle coloured still life.  In fact the orange was not part of it all to begin but as I worked on the first stages of the painting it was evident that a higher chroma focal point was necessary.  Higher chroma?  Orange is a high chroma colour – it is a vivid colour.  Most colours can be low chroma – subdued, low value – darker, high chroma – vivid, high value – paler.  The different textures found in citrus fruit are very absorbing to paint.  This is the kind of thing that I find fascinating along with pretty much every other aspect of painting.  Working for many hours on a canvas draws one in to another world where the folds and bends of fabric take on their own landscape in fact they become a landscape, as do the other elements.  The Poppy emerges from the darkness casting its own shadow which becomes part of the whole.  The writing on the Tankard is clearly there, but unreadable – make of it what you will.  I hope the family who bought this work at the Winter Art and Antiques Fair at Olympia several years ago are enjoying the rich gorgeousness of this piece?

    Oil on linen   2015   67 x 57cm    26 x 22in

  • White Rose, Glass Vase and Shallots

    £850

    Another snake I did not see.  Isn’t that a strange thing to write?  But look closely at the glass bottle just appearing out of the dark ground.  Can you see those bands turning round and up towards the lip?  They are a snake.  And the colour of the glass has a mica quality to it.  This detail is just suggested.  The more you look, the more you see.  That is how it always is when I paint something, no matter how many preparatory drawings and colour studies I make.  There is always more to see.  I think that is why owning paintings has been so popular over the ages and this aspect of ownership will always be there, always full with surprises.  Bear in mind the very many hours that go into these works and the thoughts that accompany these hours of painting.  Add the use of Renaissance concepts of creating space, volume and illusions of reality, and you will see that it all adds up to something pretty significant.  I can ‘talk for Britain’ about it all.  But just looking at a painting will explain many things, and you – the viewer – will bring you own interpretation, history and likes to the act of enjoyment gained from looking and seeing the painting.  And see how this spills out into your experience of everyday life.  That is what I work from.

    Oil on canvas   2015   43 x 48cm   17 x 19in