The (Un) Still Life

Weekly Art Project: Week 5

Children’s text

Still life has been the representation of objects such as flowers, fruit, vegetables, wine and game. Still life can be a celebration of the subject being represented or it can be a warning of the transience of our lives and of all things such as in the works of memento mori, which often includes a skull or decaying subjects.

In comparison to other genres such as History painting and Portraiture, Still life was considered of low rank by the Seventeenth century French Academy. Within modern art, Still life was used as a basis for experiments. Most notably, the way in which Cezanne used multiple points of view to manipulate the space being viewed, tilting objects towards the viewer.

Zoey Frank’s recent artwork often uses everyday settings for her Still lifes. She will chose a bathroom cabinet or sink area, the corner of a room, a picnic rug or a lunch in its wrapper. Working from observation, she will often choose subjects that will be moved by somebody at some point, forcing her to accommodate for the changes as she progresses through the painting. This causes her to make new decisions which relate to all the elements present in a painting such as compositional structure, space, and colour.

Frank’s work is therefore an engagement with the real world, in real time with her work having to be a resolution of that process. It means that sometimes shapes and forms will partially appear or disappear, be well described or left out. It also means that how a work is composed is not necessarily tied to what is being observed.

Zoey Frank, Lemon Blue Tiles, Oil on linen on panel, 17 x 19″, 2016
https://zoeyfrank.com/still-life-spaces/2017/1/3/huf3gnqejpxwnwzvycep3ogdcxyvew
Zoey Frank, Lemons #2 Oil on panel, 14 x 13”, 2018
Still Life/Spaces — Zoey Frank
Zoe Frank, Bathroom sink, oil on panel, 36″ x 36″, 2017
https://zoeyfrank.com/still-life-spaces/2017/8/1/bathroom-sink

This project is the drawing or painting of a Still life with some of the objects being moved during the process.

Choose a group of objects that you can arrange or an area in your home or studio which may be changed over time.

Draw or paint the scene as some of the objects are moved or replaced.

Every time an object is moved, think about which part of the composition you want to keep and which you would like to change. Think about compositional structure, space, colour and tone. How do shapes, or partial shapes fit together into a a new composition?

Children’s text

An artwork described as a Still life often has objects such as flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Artist, Zoey Frank’s recent artwork often uses everyday settings for her Still lifes. She will chose a bathroom cabinet or sink area, the corner of a room, a picnic rug or a lunch in its wrapper. Working while looking at these things, she will often choose objects that will be moved by somebody at some point, forcing her to make changes as she to the painting. This causes her to make new decisions which relate about how everything sits together in her work.

This project is the drawing or painting of a Still life with some of the objects being moved during the work.

Choose a group of objects that you can arrange or an area in your home which may be change over time.

Draw or paint the scene as some of the objects are moved or replaced.

Every time an object is moved, think about which part of your work you want to keep and which you would like to change. Think about compositional structure, space, colour and tone. How do shapes, or partial shapes fit together into a a new composition?