Summertime Thirstquencher (oil, 19×16) by Scott Royston was a Still Life finalist in the 25th Annual Art Competition. Royston is our August 2009 Artist of the Month.
Residence: Baltimore, Maryland
His art career: I went to the Goucher College Summer Arts Institute while attending high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts. I then did five years of serious classical training at the Schuler School of Fine Arts. By God’s grace, I’m able to make it as an artist full-time. I’ve been blessed to be able to make just as much as, if not more than, most college graduates.
Medium and genres: I primarily work with oils that are mixed from powder pigment and black oil, and I use Maroger medium. I start with a thorough underpainting with an earth tone and then move on to color with a bristle brush, switching over to mongoose and sable brushes to create the details to bring the piece to fruition. I work mostly from life, and the genres that I tend to work in are still life and sometimes landscape or portrait.
About this painting: I was visiting Williamsburg, Virginia, and found an old-fashioned lemon press. The peppermint stick is a Baltimorean thing—you get a nice sweet-and-sour taste from sucking the lemonade with mint through the peppermint stick. I also wanted to convey the biblical symbolism of Christ’s blood and purity in the peppermint sticks.
I usually spend about a week or two on a smaller painting and up to a few months on a bigger piece. Summertime Thirstquencher took about a month to complete. I enjoyed the challenges of painting the pitcher and the lemon press, things that I had never painted before. One problem I had was that the lemonade level kept going down because of evaporation, so I had to keep refilling it. And one afternoon I sat down to paint and caught a fly doing the backstroke in my lemonade pitcher.
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