Glassware Still-Life

oil painting
Glassware Still-Life, oil on canvas 24 in. x 24 in., November 2017

Like with the last painting (Gardner Museum), I wanted to return to a more realistic style of painting which I believe is my strength. Glass objects attract me because of their clarity and ability to warp surrounding shapes and colors.

I set up a still-life of these tomato juice jars and pitcher in my studio. Instead of the actual plain glass, I used bright colors, such as blue, to make the painting inviting and fun. I placed color in opaque, wonky shapes which I saw in the glass. In the back of my mind, I was thinking of the painting of salad bottles by Janet Fish that I saw multiple times on visits to the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. It is a painting that I greatly admire. I enjoy the attention to detail, the bright colors, and the glass bottles so skillfully rendered that you can feel the weight of them. Fish’s painting is more realistic than mine, but I intended for my own painting to have more of a 2D look with focus on color blocking. Color brings paintings to life.

The play of light is also exciting. I like the contrast of the rounded, solid shapes of the cups and pitcher with the lines of shadows beneath them. The shadows are echoed in the pitcher because of the vertical stripes there.

I wanted to play with color and shape, but I also wanted to keep the glass looking like glass. I believe I achieved this. I rendered the transparency of the glass especially in the base of each vessel. I kept the background and table white as a contrast and as a nod to my minimalistic inclinations. Next, I think I will work on rendering fabric!

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