My Head In the Clouds (Still Life vs Landscape)

She is Wild as She is Beautiful, oil painting, Sicily by Marian Dioguardi c2018

If you are familiar with my work over the last 17 years you think of me as a still life painter. What you don't know is that I always wanted to paint like J.M.W. Turner, the wild British landscape painter. However soon  realized as in learning to paint is that no matter what you paint there you are. So for these past years objects captured my interest: fruit and vegetables, laundry lines, cups and dish ware, buoys. Allowing my hands to always follow my heart I never knew where they would take me.

Painting still life with pallet knife allows me to make clear distinct decisions about color, shape and form. As one of my teachers, Barney Rubenstien, told me "You are a god in a still life because you have full control". That appealed to me. I spent my student years and professional years developing my painting all within the still life genre. Now and then I'd do a plain air landscape because it was good painting practice. It was so different putting those practices into the still life.

I continue to rely on my trusty pallet knife but in moments of desperation I resort to using rags, brushes and my fingers. How do I get a soft edge with a pallet knife?! I try this. I try that. I'll try anything!

The landscape world, where I'm not a god, is wild and beautiful, ever changing and challenging. Where I have clear images of what my still lifes painting are; now I have only shifting and searching feelings about the beauty and the wildness of the sky and land. So like the changing light and clouds every painting I am doing is different, shifting and out of my control. The one constant that remains is that it's a challenge.

The Clouds Are Alive,  oil painting, Sicily by Marian Dioguardi c2018


Popular Posts