For a still life artist, half of the fun is finding the right mix of items to paint. They need to be interesting and individual, yet connected enough to make an appealing composition. And, according to artist Jeff Legg, when you minimize them down to just a few objects, it becomes even more challenging because you still have to make the painting beautiful. Those handful of objects should have colors that flow and be a strong mix of items.
For Legg’s July exhibition at Astoria Fine Art, he will be presenting his more pared down compositions, where a few items take center stage, such as Catch of the Day. In the painting, he has a silver pan, a fish, a few onions and a cloth—the fish is sprawled cross the pan, their colors mimicking one another, yet providing a nice contrast. “I love to paint fish. I love the shiny scales and the wonderful, subtle color shifts,” he says. “I’m in love with texture and form, so anytime I can use those to my advantage in a painting I do. [In this work] there are similarities between the textures in the fish and pan, but there are differences and that can be interesting.”
Another one of the paintings in the show,
Cantaloupe with Blue & White, is a minimal in subjects, but also focuses on the vignette style that Legg uses in some of his works. “The idea for me doing that is I have sort of an abstract quality to the painting in the background,” he says. “These areas of the painting are a very nice foil for the realism and it also adds some interesting shapes and adds an element of mystery to the painting. It lets the viewer maybe fill in some of the blanks.”
Legg’s exhibition at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based gallery will run July 11 to 20.
For a direct link to the exhibiting gallery go to www.westernartcollector.com
Jeff Legg in his studio with Butch.