Manet Made it Look So Easy

Manet’s Still Life^

I would kiss you, had I the courage.


As I type this, the work in progress on the easel is based on a photo from last week: a glass pitcher filled with lilies, roses, gerbera daisies, coral bells.

Initially I arranged a still life on the sidewalk table behind my garage, where I could make a photo framed by trees, grass, sunlight and sky.

Afterwards, I took my jump-drive to the copy shop where I noticed the printed image looked a little dark on paper. . .so now I’ve been straining to see the detail, light and shadow in the photo.  But mostly I’m having trouble seeing all the contrast and color on the glass pitcher.

So now I am studying these Manet still lifes, wishing I could somehow channel his talent for this:

I need to find some that are done in a brighter space now. . .some to get me thinking of ways to work on mine too.  Meanwhile, I will try to take Manet’s wise advice to heart:

There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see. When
you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is



Garden Still Life

“And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not
anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they
themselves never hoped to see – or like a sealed letter they could not plainly
read. ” —Alice Walker

Yesterday I finished my iris painting, an act which left my easel empty again. . .so afterwards I assembled this outdoor still life with a little help from a gardener friend next door.  I already had the peace roses, yarrow, and coral bells in my yard.  Mary provided the yellow gerbera daisies, lilies, and a few lacy varieties I can’t name at the moment.

I snapped some photos of the bouquet to set aside for future paintings.

Later I brought my easel outdoors to photograph the new painting.  The outdoor light really changed the look of the work, making it seem a little flat and washed out. . .so out came the brushes for some sunlight tweaking. A couple of hours later, I felt like I was really finished (again).

It was nice to see Mary’s reaction when I showed her the new work. Now that the original iris has dropped its petals, the painted one is bringing back some happy memories. 🙂

And now for something completely different:

Mixed Media and Photo Collage: “Eve Meets Bess”