Tag Archives: still-life

Pumpkin soup – art vs appetite.

In the last week I completed a second still life from some of the splendid seasonal squashes I bought recently. Having to fit my painting around work days, especially at this time of shortening day length, is sometimes frustrating, though necessary for the time being.

One of the challenges of a still life involving food, for me, is that I fully intend to eat it and don’t want to leave it too long “on stage”, however tempting or even necessary this may be from the point of view of the painting process. Once I had cut open the pumpkin, the pressure was on and I managed to complete the essentials within a couple of afternoons, in fading light.

Preparing soup – still life. Oil on canvas board – 30 x 25 cm 2021.

I used virtually the entire pumpkin, this time, roasting then frying the seeds and thinly-pared skin with seasonings to make a chewy but tasty snack, turning half of the flesh into a delicious houmous and the rest into part of a tasty and sustaining soup, with parsnip and served with homemade bread.

The wine was nice too! (Beyerskloof Pinotage 2020).

The remaining squashes are still in a bowl, slowly becoming more interesting as the skins develop varied contrasting colour spots. I feel tempted to make some more, quick, studies of them, even in artificial light, which I can at least do in these dark evenings after work.

Meanwhile, I have ideas for two other, unrelated, paintings based on observed situations from long ago and very recently but they will take a bit longer to develop.

After Easter

I’ve been staying with friends whom I haven’t seen for about four years. They have the luxury of a real studio and invited me to do some painting this morning. I was given a free rein with acrylics and a few brushes and objects to select, plus a mug of good strong coffee…
I had an hour before the train. 
So, first a quick still life, then a rapid little self portrait study on a small pad of watercolour paper to use up some spare paint from the palette:



Slow study

I’ve just completed a still life study using newly-purchased coloured pencils. I’ve enjoyed the process of looking carefully and having the time afforded by working in a dry medium to work slowly, with a lot of control.


Now I feel hungry and it’s time to cook dinner.
I can eat those apples, too!