Still Life ... Nature Morte

The Traditional Romance of Still Life

Susan Gerstein, Janet Fish, Ken McConney, George Rada, Anna Feld, Jessica Mieles, Robert Casper

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The still life as a subject is the most deliberate in all of art. Still lifes do not exist; they must be arranged by the artist in actuality or in the mind, or through the camera lens.

This act of arranging is indicative of artistic intent.

Making still-life pictures puts artists on a common ground that reveals significantly their individual sensibility.

Some are interested in creating mystery, others are interested in translating the everyday.

Blue Hydrangea
© Susan Gerstein
Blue Hydrangea - Painting

Silver and Gold
Silver and Gold © Susan Gerstein
Pastel on Paper


Nothing is More Abstract than Reality.

"I believe that nothing can be more abstract, unreal than what we actually see . . . Matter exists, of course, but has no intrinsic meaning of its own, such as the meaning we attach to it. Only we can know that a cup is a cup, that a tree is a tree . . . I have never intended to give the objects in my still-life arrangements any particular meanings."

Georgio Morandi

A Blue Teapot
A Blue Teapot © Ken McConney

Modern Still Life remains a natural choice for artists. The greatest artists of our time have tried their hand at still life, whether sporadically or intensely, producing fresh results from the crossing of styles as well as translating their technical achievements.

© Jessica Mieles

Nature Morte

A Still Llife can show beautiful vessels filled with wine and appetizing fruit, perhaps with a vase of flowers, invitingly arranged on lovely china.

Artists can choose the objects they want to paint and arrange them in such a way to express their viewpoint about the world.

Artists paint what's in their heart, whereas the viewer responds to what's beautiful and real.

Imagine how far the still life developed between the Dutch realists of the 1600s and Paul Cezanne, whose still lifes explore the relation of color to modeling.

It is often what is in the artist's intent that makes Still Life enduring.

Still Life Mask
© Robert Casper
Still Life with Mask
Mural Painting

Trio Sentinels
Antique Glass © Susan Gerstein

Still Life Ivy
© Anna Feld
Still Life - Ivy
Oil Painting

Tea Pot
© Anna Feld
Still Life with Tea Pot
Oil Painting

Past Present IV
© George A. Rada
Past Present IV
Oil on Canvas

Still Lifes are about moments in life and memories.

Still Life and Realism create a sense of nostalgia, a return to simpler times.

This inherent quality can touch the soul of the viewer.


Trends may be transient but good work lasts.

In today's market trends, fine art is a stable investment.

When the real world isn't stable, still lifes can be reassuring and an image that the viewer can relate to.

This continuity is more comforting than constant flux, which contemporary and abstract art represent.

These pictures hang well in a dining room but the best still lifes go beyond mere reminders of of food and drink.


A Yellow Fish
© Anna Feld
A Yellow Fish
Oil Painting

Still Life Watermelon
© Anna Feld
Still Life with Watermelon
Oil Painting

Coffee Can Brushes
© Ken McConney
Coffee Can with Brushes
Oil Painting

Green Jug
Green Jug © Susan Gerstein
Lawn Sale
Lawn Sale © Janet Fish

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