Today we'll look at the work of Rhode Island artist Kathleen Weber. Kathleen has chosen a still life and an interior to share with us, and one of the issues she discusses is the difference between painting from life and from a photograph.
Teakettle and Geranium oil 20” x 24” 2013
2013 was kind of a difficult year and I didn’t get as much painting done as I would have liked. I got a new studio, outside of my house, which I haven’t used a whole lot, but I did paint the "Teakettle“ painting there. I love the way geraniums sprawl, and I like the cheery colors and light in this painting.
Waiters Waiting oil 8” x 10” 2013
“Waiters Waiting” was painted from a photo taken in a restaurant in Philadelphia. I really like the muted color harmonies, the placement and interaction between the two figures, the way the line of empty chairs leads your eye to the waiters, then the globes of light that take you across the top to the vertical light on the wall, and back down to start all over again. Good composition is a constant delight to me.
The difference between still life and working from a photo is that in still life, you have to make that composition happen, which can sometimes take endless amounts of rearranging props. Working from a photo, you either have it or you don’t. You still need to make decisions about what to include or not, what to highlight and what to subdue, but if the bones of a good composition aren’t there, the photo gets tossed.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to paint more still lives. I’m hoping 2014 will allow that to happen.You can see more of Kathy Weber's work at her blog and her website, as well as read her "favorites" post from last year.