Why Still Life?
A friend recently asked me “why still life?”
Why do I feel passionate enough to devote my entire working life to it?
Since you are reading this, you must also feel some connection with this kind of painting, even if you don’t feel the need to put it in words.
I answered my friend by talking about a few things that were meaningful to me from a personal side – the way I’ve always been fascinated by the simple beauty of everyday things, and how I love the freedom of imagination that painting still life gives me, and so on.
But then I talked about the thing I find most powerful about still life – something universal that can be experienced by anybody who loves this kind of painting.
Still life can make time stop.
When I look at a good still life painting, I can almost feel time start to slow down, as my eye follows the light through the canvas, discovering and lingering over small details, sensing the forms and volumes and shadows, “feeling” the texture of the things.
As my normal stream of thought starts to fall away, I become absorbed in that one moment the artist has captured, until there is nothing but me and the painting.
And when I come out of that moment of connection, I am changed just a little – I bring some of that moment with me into the rest of my day.
For me, that is the real magic of still life.
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