Katharina Gifford | New still life study, new year
Contemporary Maine Realist Portrait Painter
Maine portrait painter, Portland, Maine, contemporary realist painter, oil on canvas, drawings, portraits, still life, figurative art
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New still life study, new year

It’s January, the weather is cold of course and I got to stay inside for the most part and I got some painting done. I worked on a new piece, a still life study of sorts with some pears and a cake tray. I think at this point I really enjoy doing still lifes because I can really practice trying to capture the light. Not that it’s elusive, it’s just there are so many elements to it. Not only are you painting the value, color, temperature, etc. of the light, you’re painting everything around it, because the objects and scene that you are looking at are affected and do affect each other, so you must capture everything correctly to make the still life similar if not exactly like what you are looking at.

Still life study with pears

One of my favorite still life painters is William Merritt Chase, an American 19th-century painter. His fish paintings are gorgeous, some of which (at least one that I can remember) are on view at the MFA in Boston.

William Merritt Chase, Still Life with fish

He was able to capture the light simply. He also has inspired me to start a fish painting of sorts. I’ve attempted a lobster before, and would love to try again, but fish I have never tackled. (Pun somewhat intended.) Here is another Chase, as well as one each from Spanish painter Melendez and French painter Bazille. Will let you know when I start to try my hand at seafood!

William Merritt Chase, Still life with fish

Frederic Bazille, Still life with fish


Luis Melendez, Still life with fish



1 Comment

  • Paul Draper

    25.02.2013 at 20:02 Reply

    Hi Katharine–

    Your comments about light make a lot of sense. I’ve never particularly been interested in them, but now I will look again, with an eye on light.

    Hope you are both well.



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