Tag Archives: still life

Apples Inspired by Cezanne

“With an apple I will astonish Paris.”

-Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne was born to a wealthy family on January 19th, 1839 in the South of France. His father was a banker and did not want his son to become an artist. So, Paul Cezanne began his studies in law, and as a compromise his father allowed him to take art lessons.

His work developed a deliberately crude, bold style, slapping and smearing paint onto canvas with a palette knife. He is described as a Post-impressionist best known for his incredibly varied painting style which greatly affected 20th century abstract art. Both Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were highly influenced by Cezanne.

Although he was a prolific artist, producing more than 900 oil paintings and 400 water colours and many more incomplete works, his pictures were turned down by official art shows (the Salon) and critics called him a madman.  He would sometimes get so angry in fits of despair we would break his brushes and throw his pictures away.  He was also said to be so incredibly shy that he would run away if he saw a stranger while out sketching.

His work did not become popular until people’s ideas about art changed. After a one-man show in 1895 he won huge acclaim.

Paul Cezanne died of pneumonia on October 22, 1906. He was 67 years old.

The artists in our classes created their own still life works of art using chalk pastels, and 8 different colours of acrylic paint!

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Geranium’s Inspired by Henri Matisse

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“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

-Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 in France. He grew up in a small town in Northern France and came from humble origins. His father was a grain merchant and his mother ran a paint shop and sold house paints. Henri later credited his mother’s colour sense as training for his own colour choices later in life.

In 1887 he went to Paris to study law. Although he found law tedious he nonetheless passed the bar in 1888 with distinction.

Matisse discovered painting after an attack of appendicitis. His mother brought him art supplies during his recovery time and right from the start he realised that this is what he wanted to do.

Matisse was one of the leaders of the Fauvism an art movement known for paintings that expressed emotion and used unusual colours to paint their subjects. He is regarded as one of the great initiators of this modern art movement which uses bold primary colours and free, simple forms.

By the end of his life, Matisse was thoroughly interested in patterns and collage.  Due to illness that confined him to a wheelchair he began to “paint with scissors.” He used bold hand painted paper cut into shapes.

Students used chalk pastels for their backgrounds and watercolours for their flowers. The leaves were made from collage paper. It was so colourful in our classrooms!

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Cherry Still Life – Inspired by Mary Pratt

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“Sometimes I seem to be two people. One who does not paint and one who does. The one who does not paint assumes that the one who does can paint anything. The one who is the painter sometimes finds it difficult to live up to that faith.” – Mary Pratt

Mary Pratt was born on March 15, 1935 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She is a Canadian painter specializing in still-life realist paintings. She attended Mount Allison University, studying Fine Arts under Alex Colville, Lawren Harris and others. In her second year, she met the artist Christopher Pratt and they married in 1957.

The focus of her work is the ordinary household things one finds around the house: jars of jelly, apples, aluminum foil, brown paper bags. The style is bold and flamboyant, rendering the subject vivid and realistic.

Mary Pratt’s paintings have been exhibited in most major galleries in Canada, reproduced in magazines such as Saturday NightChatelaine, and Canadian Art. Her work is found in many prominent public, corporate, and private collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Museum, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Canada House in England.

She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland where she continues to paint and write.

Students worked with pencils to sketch out their composition. Chalk pastels and acrylic paint filled their paper with colour and energy.

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Robert Kushner – Still Life

 “Decoration has always had its own agenda, the sincere and unabashed offering of pleasure and solace.”

-Robert Kushner

Robert Kushner is an American contemporary painter who was born in Pasadena, California in 1949 and lives and works in New York City today. He is most known for his involvement in the Pattern and Decoration art movement in the 1970s.  In addition to painting he creates large scale public installations in a variety of mediums.

Kushner’s work has been exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan and Italy. He was the subject of solo exhibitions at both the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

We created a still life inspired by Kushner. We used collage elements in our background and then layered paint, oil pastels, and chalk pastels over top. They were a bright spot in our spring line-up!

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