I’ve been spending quite a bit more time in the studio lately. Not sure if it’s because I’m loving my new space so much, or that it’s been so cold that I’m not really wanting to head outside with my paints. Probably a little bit of both. These are a few still lifes that I’ve recently done. It’s great to have the space to set one up again. I’ve always shied away from using the same elements in different paintings, but when visiting the Caravaggio exhibit at the Art Institute in Chicago, I saw certain props used over and over again in his paintings. Rather than be turned off by that, I was struck that it is a little window into his studio.

This first painting is the most recent one that I have done. The teacup, oranges and place mat is actually a set up of my friend Deb Conlon, a fellow painter who joined me for a morning in my studio. Her work is filled with light and color, and this still life was much more keyed up than I usually work, with light from the window and from the overhead lights bouncing around the bright colors of the objects. It was a great exercise to push myself outside of my comfort zone- or almost push myself outside of it. In the end I added the hydrangea sprig and the spoon. I really felt it needed a mass of another color and value to set off the teacup.