Producing a still life takes a lot of energy. You need a steady hand, sharp eyes and love for the subject. I paint my still lives with
Old Holland Classic Oilcolours which are made with 100% linseed oil, using the finest marten-hair brushes. (Da Vinci Tobolsky-Kolinsky nr.0)
I use a little medium to dilute the paint when it is too "stiff" to work with. I like to do the painting in the direct, simple way, that means in my case, as little "layering" as possibly. A transparent layer (glacis) gives depth but it takes away light, and, as glacis contains a lot of oil, it will become yellow in time, something I don't like at all. I want a painting to be transparent, all the various shades of color applied on a bright ground, should be visibly even a century later. So I mix minimal amounts of paint on my 12 x 12cm palette, applying the right mixture on the right spot, sometimes pushing, sometimes pulling, the whole day long. It is ,even for myself, hard to put it in words. Where other painters need multiply layers, I do it all in one session.
The old Flemish "primitive" way is nearest by, in such a painting you see the white gypsum ground, shining through the overlaying oil colors; everlasting brightness is what they had in mind. And so do I .
In Landscape it is slightly different, there is the same white ground, but I don't use fine brushes now, instead I use sponges, pieces of cloth, sandpaper, to manipulate the paint. Covering the surface entirely with a dark Burnt Umber, wiping half of it away, scratching it;
suddenly a glimpse of a landscape appears; sun behind clouds or smoke over a moor. Apply a little more bluish and less than a minute later I walk on a beach or fly like an eagle.
StillLife for me is bloody hard labour, concentration, 3 square centimeter per day. I was a "monk" for almost 30 years.
I enjoyed it and feel proud knowing some of the most beautiful still lives ever bare my monogram.
Landscape is playtime, travelogue, children's magic.
It is something that gives me direct energy.
On the way, along the road, anything can happen!