Many art lovers consider the art of still life to be a more modern approach to painting. In reality though, still life painting dates back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The subject matter may have changed over the centuries, but the modern still life artists still use inanimate objects to convey their message through symbolism and artistic arrangement.

Still life art should promote discussion and thought among its viewers. Whether it is displayed in the form of a painting, a photograph, or a collage, it is a collection of everyday items displayed and given new meaning.

1.) “Still Life with Bazooka” by Igor Ovsyannykov.

Igor Ovsyannykov is a young modern still life artist. Based in Virginia, this young artist has found a new way to paint in the classical still life style. Choosing to use everyday items such as fruit, he discreetly adds a bazooka to the otherwise serene painting.

2.) “Still Life with Flowers and Curtains” by William Daniels.

In this dramatic painting, William Daniels recreated a 1658 painting from artists Adrien van der Spelt and Frans van Mieris. Using an aluminum foil collage for inspiration, the artist is able to capture the silvery light display with astonishing accuracy.

3.) “Dragonfly Bowl” by Nava Grunfeld

This Nothampton, Massachusetts artist is best known for her brightly colored artworks. Using brightly colored bowls and tapestries, she adds a touch of the whimsical with the blue dragonflies on the fruit bowl. Viewers will have to look closely to see if the dragonflies are real or part of the bowl’s design.

4.) “Homage to Still Life 2” by Janet Payne.

This acrylic painting is a mix of everyday items and the surprising. With a background in textiles and upholstery, she incorporates this in her paintings.

Janet Payne

©Janet Payne

5.) “Citrus on Purple” by Sarah Blumenschein.

Her pastel still life is reminiscent of previous still life masters. With the use of light and shadow, the artist is able to convey the folds and creases in the table cloth, making the ordinary fruit appear slightly larger than life.

6.) “My Beautiful Nautilus” by Laura Erler.

Taking her inspiration from ordinary objects, this artist brings new life to the beach. With artfully positioned seashells, viewers are transported to a picturesque seashore, until the playing card is discovered.

Laura Erler

©Laura Erler

7.) “Studio Still Life Kangaroo and Skull” by James Cowan.

In this fun painting, viewers wonder how the tiny kangaroo ended up on a workbench with a skull. With incredible attention to detail the artist is able to capture the kangaroo’s confusion as she looks at the grinning skull.

8.) “Still Life” by Irma Kvanchiani.

Still life artworks are supposed to inspire thought and evoke emotions in its viewers, and Irma Kvanchiani’s artworks accomplish this. The oil painting combines an open book, fruit, guns, and a hunted fox. Managing to tie the many items together into a single theme, her artworks spark emotions in all who view them.

9.) “Abstract Fruit Still Life” by Stephen Conroy.

This colorful still life painting by British artist, Stephen Conroy, brings new life to the standard painting of fruit. Colorful and fun, it is an excellent example of a more modern approach to still life paintings.

10.) “Still Life in Blue” by Tomas Urbelionis.

This photo collage has incorporated everyday blue toned items into a single mass. Depicted in the photograph is everything from gum to cigarettes. Notice the yellow on the toothbrush bristles, and how the artist uses a small bit of color in his works.

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