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The Still Life: Appreciation of Five Little Things

The most famous still life’s in history are paintings of fruit and flowers, very common objects generally resting on tabletops. They are unlikely characters in anti-climactic settings. Yet, they persist in modern times as popular art pieces. Halved avocadoes and watering cans full of flowers provide simple, unassuming pleasure in the home, and they are appreciated to varying degrees in galleries. The concept behind appreciating still life really amounts to one thing – appreciation of the little things.

Still Life: Appreciation of Five Little Things
1. Simple: Probably the best part of a still life is its simplicity. It is a refreshing break from scenic or active imagery that allows one to pause and think about the beauty of life rather than ponder what is happening. In some cases, the still life subject may highlight the ugliness in life. In either case, the mind is freed from the periphery and allowed to focus without distraction.
2. Shadow and Light: Although it is simple in subject matter, still life is not without technique and mastery. The shadow and lighting must work in a coordinated effort to create realism (unless it is abstract still life). Using shadow and light gives a story to artwork such as what time of day it is or where the light in the room is located.
3. Depth: While the story of still life is simple, the mastery of it must have depth in order to make it feel reachable. Depending on the style, depth can make you feel like you could reach out and touch the subject. In any case, most still life is not one-dimensional.
4. Color Choice: Some critics may mistakenly think that the only option for still life creation is close to the replication of an object, a simple copy. This is very far from the truth, and artists may chose colors to dictate the tone or emotion of a piece.
5. Detailed: The detail of still life can get very concise, and this is where the appreciation of the little things can get amazing with still life looking like photography. This has varying satisfaction among viewers who feel either appreciation in ability or distaste in imitation.

Appreciation of the Little Things is An Exercise in Happiness
In order to be happy, sometimes one has to appreciate little things in order to escape the complexities of reality. Still life is one way to do this, which is why it makes a good addition to the art world.

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Milessa Murphy Stewart

The best paintings create a story. My stories have happy endings.

Milessa was born a big city girl in a dry, desolate area of Texas where the only trees she saw were mesquite and the only things to climb was her horse. She remembers a lot of brown but that did not stop her from dreaming in beautiful, bold color. She paints in a playful and visual style. 

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