I like to think of my fruit and veg paintings as portraits rather than still lifes. There’s something very intimate about the process of painting a portrait — a conversation between the artist and the subject — that embeds itself in the final painting. The fruit or vegetable has been positioned just so, showing me their best side in a flattering light. At the peak of ripeness, with all their personal curves and bumps and spots on display, each is an individual while representing their kind. They’re singular.
I also think it’s important that a painting really be a painting: I don’t draw first or use anything other than my eyes and a paintbrush. Craftsmanship is increasingly valuable, especially today, when it’s so easy to turn a photograph into a stylized image using filtering tools. Wherever possible, I like to include a photograph of the painting with the subject immediately after I finish, as a testimony to this event. I’ve found, from the fruit portraits I have hanging in my dining room, that each develops as a distinct character over the years, so that they become old friends, me growing older while they remain forever young.
I trained the Central St. Martin’s School of Art in London, England, and worked as a graphic designer before moving to Pittsburgh in 1989 and attending Carnegie Mellon. In addition to painting, I have authored two books, teach writing, and have been painting fruit and vegetables for 34 years.
Archival quality giclée prints of my paintings can be ordered from my Etsy shop.
Paintings are for sale and I accept commissions. Please email me HERE for more information.
Click on images to enlarge.
I only paint from life, and I only paint a fruit or vegetable once.