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How I, as a chicago artist changed my mind about still life paintings.

My journey with still-life paintings as a Chicago Artist.

I have to admit, I used to be a bummer about still lifes. They felt like practice; you see it, you paint it- VOILA! I didn't feel a pull of reflection, a moment of grand revelance. It felt like a thing of a thing. Perhaps one of my greatest flaws is the desire to find deeper meaning in everything. Sometimes a vase of flowers is simply a vase of flowers-

Or is it?

It could be a vase of flowers from a long lost lover, for a sick mother, a gift to oneself to brighten the spirits on a difficult day.

The prominent Dutch painter Rachel Ruysch was applauded for her beautifully realistic depictions of flower arrangements, yet some propose her work was centered around the idea of fading beauty and death. Only if you were to look closely enough at the bugs eating the leaves, small wilting flowers and petals gracefully dancing in the foreground would the connection be made. I was floored viewing and hearing about her work in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I realized what I had been missing when I looked at still-life paintings was my own curiosity and imagination.

So, I've come around on still-life paintings, but I've decided to do them my own way. Inspired by Rachel Ruysch....a sort of hide and seek to the greater purpose of the piece. I've painted my still lifes to be a collection of objects that on their own may feel frivolous, but together, find a theme.

I've given in to my greatest flaw, my desire for deep meaning prevails. The Brie Show has little mystery, my art like myself overshares, loves symbolism and yearns for nothing more than human connection.


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