Showing posts with label Stephen Morath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stephen Morath. Show all posts

Who says fruits & veggies are just for eating?

Still life paintings have always been a favorite subject for artists. Some painters, like my friend Joyce, paint floral arrangements exclusively. But others prefer fruits and vegetables. Why? 

In my own case, I love the organic shape of "produce." I actually spent a few years just painting pears!
For those of us who are colorists, you can’t beat the hues of fruits and veggies. I’m drawn to these objects in a seasonal way, and seem to want to paint them in summer and fall when they are fresh at a farmers’ market.
From the August Garden  44"x48"  acrylic on canvas
by Stephen Morath
Stephen Morath depicts edible arrangements in a classical, Italian style, yet his colors are so much more vibrant. He told me that he likes to garden and be amongst the fruits and vegetables he grows, and also is inspired to paint them in late summer and fall. depicts edible arrangements in a classical, Italian style, yet his colors are so much more vibrant. He told me that he likes to garden and be amongst the fruits and vegetables he grows, and also is inspired to paint them in late summer and fall.
Peppers and Apples  36"x40"  acrylic on canvas
by Stephen Morath
"I like to grow some exotic squash like crooked neck and paddy pan because of their unique shapes," he said. I guess I’m always thinking of how they would look in a painting."
I definitely agree with Stephen when he said that painting fruits and vegetables is a respite from more complicated works. However, his still life paintings are anything but simple. As you can see in "From the August Garden," considerable work has gone into arranging and painting this assortment of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

I can sense the bounty of a late summer harvest when I look at it. His excellent rendering of the cool blue and white cloth napkin, teacup and knife are a wonderful contrast to the colorful produce on the table. In his painting entitled "Peppers and Apples," Stephen focuses on the interesting shapes and colors of curvy peppers, placed among round apples and bright yellow sunflowers.
Standing in Blue 46"x40" oil on canvas
by Linda Carter Holman

For Linda Carter Holman, fruits are a secondary element in her paintings – part of the setting she creates.

"When I plan a painting, I often think about creating a party, so there’s always a person, sometimes an animal, a table with flowers and some fruit," she said. "I use accessories that have meaning to me and create an inviting environment."
You can see a typical scene Linda creates in her painting entitled "Standing in Blue."
There are times, however, when produce takes front stage in Linda’s painting.

The bowl in "Mystery of Life Four" is the focal point, full of luscious fruits. But Linda still creates a setting, with some of her favorite "accessories" such as the love birds perched on the bowl and the goldfish vase with calla lilies.
Mystery of Life Four 24"x36" oil on canvas
by Linda Carter Holman
It’s a little too early for produce inspiration, but watch out for other beautiful still life paintings later in the summer!

Artistic Challenges: Commission Paintings

Most artists have been asked to do a commission piece at some point in their career. Like many things, there are pros and cons to this request. It’s always flattering to know that someone likes your art, and it’s nice to envision making some money. But one must take a deep breath and realize that creating a painting to someone else’s specifications is not always easy.

So, should you or shouldn’t you? I guess that depends on your temperament, and how well you could work with someone who is not an artist but has an “artistic” vision.

"Our Colorado Country" acrylic on canvas 48" x 84"
by Stephen Morath

Detail: "Our Colorado Country"
by Stephen Morath

In the case of Stephen Morath, an artist exhibiting at Wilde Meyer Gallery, a recent commission proved to be a major undertaking, concluding in a very interesting painting. The work, entitled “Our Colorado Country,” was commissioned by a Colorado couple who saw one of Stephen’s paintings at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs. They wanted a similar painting, but requested some specific elements be added to the work. The result is a complex 48”X84” painting that depicts the Colorado landscape as well as the life of this couple.

Detail: "Our Colorado Country"
by Stephen Morath


If you look carefully, you can see the couple seated on a bench, looking out at the landscape ahead of them. The orange VW Beatle is a car that once belonged to the wife, who is also shown riding a horse.

The two cats belong to the couple; the license plate is theirs, as is the house number on the mailbox. They like old movies; hence the movie camera next to the bench. They also enjoy old records, so Stephen added a Victrola.

Detail: "Our Colorado Country"
by Stephen Morath

 There are many more items from their list, including an airplane with a Red Cross symbol (she was a nurse with the Air Force); their house on a hill; a falcon; wine glasses and a book. (By the way, the man in the clouds with the guitar is John Denver – that was Stephen’s idea to depict the spirit of Colorado.)

Detail: "Our Colorado Country"
by Stephen Morath

Detail: "Our Colorado Country"
by Stephen Morath

 So, does all of this work?

According to Stephen, the couple is very happy with their painting, and while it took longer than expected, he enjoyed their collaboration. Sometimes an artistic inspiration can come from sources other than the painter himself!

Father's Day: It's Art not Electronics

"A Quick Cup O' Joe"
by Paul Sheldon
giclee on canvas 19" x 13.5"

I’ve been thinking about Father’s Day, which is on June 19. I know most men would love to have an iPAD, but that would be so expected (or wished for). This year, why not do the unexpected and purchase some artwork for your husband/dad? Men enjoy seeing something attractive on their wall, and a gift of a painting can be enjoyed by the whole family.  Here at Wilde Meyer Gallery and at our online shop,, there are many selections, from giclee prints to original oils.

I definitely don’t want to be sexist about some recommendations, but since it’s for Father’s Day, I’ll go for the more “masculine” works. If your gift recipient likes cowboy art with a contemporary flair, check out prints by Thom Ross, such as “Running Gunmen,” or “The Clanton Gang Crossing Allen Street.”
"The Clanton Gang Crossing Allen Street"
by Thom Ross
Giclee on canvas 18" x 18"

Paul Sheldon also paints “manly” style, and offers several prints of his colorful cowboy work including “A Quick Cup o’ Joe,” (as seen at the top of the post) or a beautifully rendered painting of three horses called “Breakfast Bunch.”  If your guy likes cars better than horses, Paul also does a great painting called “Flatbed Ford.”
"Flatbed Ford"
by Paul Sheldon
giclee on canvas 16" x 27"

And, there are several other Wilde Meyer artists who find cars a favorite subject . . . 

Bill Colt uses mixed media on canvas to depict colorful images of old power cars, such as this one, called “Desert Caddy.” His painting “Roadmaster,” takes us back to a time when big grillwork was all the rage – that might evoke some fond memories for your Dad!

by Bill Colt
mixed media on canvas 24" x 48"
Michael Baum is another artist who favors Western imagery, and his paintings depict  small mining towns and isolated ranches as well as urban street scenes. Some of Michael's paintings are lighthearted and playful, such as this giclee print on canvas called “Hide N’ Seek.” Others express the loneliness and solitude of the Western landscape.
"Sunrise on an Arizona Backroad"
by Michael Baum
oil on canvas panel in frame  16.5" x 19.5"

A vintage car also appears in Stephen Morath’s high color serigraph entitled “Arizona Noche.” It’s a fantasy road trip in the southwest, where all the fun themes of the desert come together.

"Arizona Noche"
by Stephen Morath
serigraph print on paper 25" x 31"

Women artists paint cars, too! Connie Townsend’s beefy cars are usually on a wild ride, and, as in “Beagle Scout”, they are driven by some crazy dogs.

"Beagle Scout"
by Connie Townsend
oil on canvas 30" x 30"

Brian Boner’s huge oil called “Tractor 1707” would be great for a guy who has a big wall space and likes looking at cool farm machinery.
"Tractor 1707"
by Brian Boner
oil on canvas 65" x 68"

Well, actually, I think I have been sexist in my suggestions! But since you know your Father’s Day guy the best, just go back to the Wilde Meyer Gallery website and check out the other artists’ work to find the one that he’ll like.