33 "Shell Study" 12x12 oil on board, copyright Laura Gable
My friend and longtime painter, Deanne Lemley, suggests the student will see more progress if painting from a still life. So heeding her time honored advice, I set up a nice little still life in the studio. I quickly learned how difficult it is to paint these white objects on a very dark background. It was actually black, though in places it resembles chocolate brown and eggplant in other areas. The shadows were a bit cool. The eggshells were in my still-life stash. An excellent subject matter to help see the color of these shadows. And the shell was picked up along the beaches in northern Florida. I heard another artist recently say that he doesn't paint sea shells because they are "cute". I guess I've never thought that way, as I see a myriad of artistic fodder there -- much to paint and see. Amazing really, that these little creatures build their own homes with all their ridges and whorls which become these shells that wash to sea shores so that wandering nature enthusiasts can bend and select the ones they find the most interesting.