What Would Be in Your Still Life Painting?

What Would Be in Your Still Life Painting?

I have forgotten the name of my grandparents’ dog. I don’t even remember if it was a girl or boy. This revelation came just now, as I was thinking about still life paintings. Allow me to explain.

Still life paintings are sometimes academic exercises; sometimes they’re personal challenges to paint specific items in a certain light, for example. And sometimes they’re tributes to individuals. This latter purpose is what had my gears turning. I was thinking about what I would include in a still life painting that was symbolic of my grandma and grandpa, who had passed away about 20 years ago. A few items came to mind quickly: a deck of playing cards (I spent hours and hours playing War with my grandpa while we watched Hee Haw or baseball on TV); some string beans and potatoes (They were farmers, and my family had a few acres’ worth of gardens); at least one cigarette; a large button on a string (There’s an old-time game, in which you wrap the string around your index fingers and spin the button. It’s more fun than it sounds.); and a slice of sugar bread (This is literally a slice of bread covered in sugar; all of us grandkids used to eat it at their house. Once, my brother tricked me and made salt bread). And then there was their beloved dog, a little poodle who was sweet as could be, and with whom I’d play for hours. It’s breaking my heart to have forgotten so much. Yet, I can see this little doggie curled up and lying amongst the cards, beans and button.

Patchwork II (watercolor on paper, 16x20) by Annie Williams | watercolor

Patchwork II (watercolor on paper, 16×20) by Annie Williams

Annie Williams is a watercolorist who paints still lifes featuring her collection of small pots and a variety of mixed media. Patchwork II (above; watercolor on paper, 16×20) is one example of her work, which is featured in Watercolor Artist (subscribe today at a discount so that you don’t miss an issue of watercolor painting instruction). If you were to set up a still life in homage to someone, who would it be, and what would you include? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Until next time,

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