Still Life with Antique Knife

Painting a day: Still Life with Antique Knife

"Still Life with Antique Knife"
Oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm)

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Last month I posted a few in-progress images of this painting. Now that it's finished, I can post a final image of it.

A lot - maybe even most - of my compositions are happy accidents. Though I usually start with one idea in mind, most often the process of arranging the objects takes on a life of it's own; new forms spontaneously suggest themselves, and before long the original idea is completely forgotten. This process of discovery and exploration can be the most enjoyable part of making paintings.

It's certainly the way this painting came about. By now I don't have the slightest recollection what my original idea was; but the moment I placed the knife on top of the ceramic vase and saw the amazing shadow it cast, I knew I had my composition. There was still a lot of tweaking to do, but from that point it was all working out details.