Bolinas, CA: Still Life Flowers – Liz Greiner; Title: Crop Floral Print In A Still Life Artist: Liz Greiner; Category: Still Life Flowers:
Crop Floral Print In A Still Life by Liz Greiner is a gorgeous painting of flowers in a vase set on a table. The artist made the painting using watercolors, acrylic paint and colored pencils.
Liz Greiner is a florist, so she gets to know a lot about the art of flower arranging. But she also does still life painting, and she has written about what she learned from her work as a florist about how to do better still life painting.
TECHNIQUE: Floral design is a three-dimensional art form. You have vertical relationships and horizontal relationships and the play of light and shadow on the petals. I try to think about all of these things when I approach the canvas for a still life painting. I think about creating depth by pushing some elements forward, such as the apples in “Les Trois Grains,” or I can push other elements back, like setting the fish bowl in “Chez Fish” behind glass. And sometimes adding elements helps to create that illusion – in this case, I added the mushrooms to “Les Trois Grains.”
Still life is a painting genre in Western art in which the subject is inanimate and typically, but not always, placed on a pedestal. Still life paintings appear in a variety of media, styles and contexts.
A still life is usually a small painting showing objects which are generally both decorative and can be eaten or otherwise used.
Still life paintings are associated with the Dutch Golden Age of painting, but similar still life paintings were produced in Europe for centuries before that. The term includes the painting of dead game, fish and animals as well as various other subjects.
In art history the term is sometimes used more generally about paintings depicting any inanimate objects such as flowers, fruit or books  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_life), although these are often described by other terms also, such as flower piece (or flower piece). The “still-life” was introduced into Northern art at the start of the sixteenth century by Jan van Eyck and his followers, who were influenced by Italian examples that had recently arrived in Flanders.
The earliest works generally depicted dead animals (hunting pieces), fruit and flowers, but before long other elements entered, some from religious painting to convey religious meaning; others from social realism or
Still life art is a form of painting that depicts inanimate subject matter. The subjects are often everyday objects such as fruit, flowers, or books. The traditions of still life paintings were carried on long after the invention of photography, because it was often difficult to photograph small subjects such as flowers until recently.
Still life paintings are common in both fine art and commercial art. The term still life has been used to describe genre paintings that depict kitchen and household activities. Using the term “still life” to define this type of painting dates back to the 15th century when Dutch painters created this style of art which they called “stilleven.” Still lifes today can be anything from a simple bowl of fruit to elaborate compositions.
In the 16th Century, artists in Europe introduced still life as a new art form. Still life paintings were popular among European nobility because they could be used to represent their wealth and status. The earliest still life paintings executed in oil on canvas appeared in Flanders in the 15th century and were referred to as “vanitas” paintings. These paintings reflected the human condition by depicting objects such as flowers, skulls, or books that would quickly deteriorate.
Towards the end of the 1500s, Dutch painters introduced still-life painting to England and France. At this time, still-life paintings were often thought of as a type of vanitas painting, but it wasn’t long before artists began experimenting with other themes.
The first known Dutch still-life painter was Jan Brueghel who was born in 1568. Many of the early Dutch painters, including Brueghel and Joachim Beuckelaer (1531-1603) painted fruit and game pieces using simple designs, clear colors, and even lighting effects. Still life painting became more popular during the 1600s with the introduction of objects like musical instruments, coins and books.
In 17th century Holland, fine china became increasingly available to merchants who began
Still life art is not really about dead things. It’s about life, in all its forms and stages.
The still life painter is a kind of anthropologist. Her job is to make sense of the unfamiliar plants and animals in her midst, and to show us how they fit together in our world.
Anthropologists are often accused of disrespecting their subjects; the charge may be true with respect to some. But whether they mean to or not, the still life painter always treats her subject with care and compassion. She seeks out the beautiful, even in death; she finds the strange familiar and the familiar strange; she discovers secrets that nature hides in plain sight; she transforms our everyday concerns into a story.
She paints what there is to see: light and shadow, surface and texture, color and form. But she gives to each of these things that which we did not know was there: a secret history and a hidden life.
If you want to paint a still life that is little more than a formal arrangement of objects, there are a few absolute rules. The most important is: pick the right angle.
You probably already know that the best way to arrange your objects is to put them on a table at eye level in the foreground and fill the rest of the frame with your background. But if you don’t want anything in your painting to distract from the arrangement of your objects, then you will have to pick an angle that shows as little of that table as possible. Most tables are rectangular, so if you place your objects on the longer diagonal, then the edges of the table won’t be visible in the bottom left corner or top right corner of your canvas.
There are other ways to use perspective to reduce distraction: put one object, or a cluster of small objects, close to one edge of your canvas; make another object, or another cluster of small objects, larger than all the others; or just be sure that no object intrudes into the lower half of your canvas unless it is also in the upper half.