I frequently get asked about how I come up with a set up for still lifes. This is how I came up with the arrangement that I used for "Time Traveler" - one of my newest acrylic paintings.
I was faced with the deadline for a juried exhibit with a theme. I kinda love exhibitions with a theme - they tend to make me think a little outside of the box. The theme of this show is "The Art of Mapping" - the art had to be related to maps in some way.
So, into my mind pops the idea of using an really old, ornate map in a still life, along with an antique pocket watch I picked up at a flea market and a small old wood chest - with the whole thing just kind of talking about the past. Well, as I searched my prop shelf for the pocket watch, I ran across a tin toy version of a 40's woodie station wagon. I love tin toys - and I start thinking to myself, "why haven't I used this in a painting yet?" I've been thinking a lot lately about how much of my art is about 1940's and 50's era things - signs, diners, motels, toys, cars, etc. Then, with the car, my thoughts turn to the idea of a 50's road trip. I started looking for a 50's era map so that I could align with the mapping theme and I ran into the colorful United States kids' jigsaw puzzle from that same period. Perfect!
A little juggling around with the layout, and soon I come up with a layout that made me happy. Somewhat different from my standard still lifes, but a lot of fun to paint - and it gave me lots of ideas for more paintings.
10 x 10 inches, acrylic on canvas
And - best of all - "Time Traveler" was accepted into the juried exhibition "The Art of Mapping" at the Newburyport Art Association in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It will be on display through March 19th.