The elements of classic still-life, whether traditional or contemporary in style, can be composed in endless ways, as these two artists demonstrate
Pears, Spode and Lace
by Janet Cleghorn
“Colour and pattern inspire me to paint,” says Borders-based artist Janet Cleghorn. “I hoard textile samples, china and old bottles and then use them as starting points for my stilllife paintings, adding fruit and flowers to give freshness to the arrangements.”
Working mainly in acrylics, she mixes in other media and collage to give texture, frequently looking at her arrangements from an aerial perspective so she can flatten the shapes and give the traditional subject matter a more quirky, contemporary feel.
Following a degree in industrial design and 14 years in the textile industry, Cleghorn has a deep understanding of fabric and texture, and this knowledge is frequently used to enhance her painting.
Red Pears by Ian Mastin
A self-taught artist, Ian Mastin embraces the tradition of classical still-life painting. “I’m inspired by the Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century,” he says, “and my passion is to bring to life the beauty in the simplicity of everyday objects, especially the utilitarian hand-crafted skills of anonymous artisans of the past.”
The enamel milk pail featured in Red Pears is typical of what the artist includes in his work – an example of a familiar, mass-produced item now largely discarded and lost in the relentless march of time. “Complementing the milk pail is my love also for the organic nature and changing colours of seasonal fruit, such as the pears. Both subjects are transient and unremarkable in themselves, yet together they become ageless.”