Week 8: Vanitas Still-Lifes with Shells and Flowers

This week I didn’t get around to painting during my scheduled studio time because I got a little carried away with taking reference photos. I will have to double up during spring break in a couple of weeks – I’ll link to the finished works later here later on. In the meantime here are some of the photos that were taken.


When I first started playing around I was immediately drawn to overly complex Renaissance/Baroque-ish compositions that I loved but didn’t quite feel like painting… at least not until the summer. This requires consideration because I need to create some things that I’d actually like to paint. (#artistproblems)


The simpler images seemed more promising overall and of course there were many flower references taken during this time. You never know when you’ll need a reference photo for a flower! And, since I’ve realized I need to practice painting flowers more in my own work it is a helpful resource.


My light gave out before I felt really done and throughout the process I realized I really needed to create a stronger set up. When I began I didn’t really intend for the effort to take me all afternoon. I really enjoyed playing with all the shells I’ve collected in the last couple of years. I still remember the moment I discovered each one – some moments certainly more memorable than others.

We’re hopefully planning another trip to one of my favorite shelling locales in the next couple of weeks and I’m getting excited for the chance to explore the beach and tidal pools. I’ll be making some paintings on location if given the chance.

I’m working on some publicity for an upcoming lecture event for the committee I co-chair and my 13 year anniversary is on the 6th – my work this coming week will be centered on these efforts but they’ll still be fun (at least to me). I’ll just have to come back to the shells and flowers a bit later. At least I have a few photos to work with when I do!

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