Wonky Vases – My Still Life Painting

Yesterday I shared my initial studies done in preparation for a still life painting with oil pastels. At the end of the post I asked which of the three studies I should paint.

Study 1

Even as I asked the question, I really thought I’d already made up my mind. I was planning to use the first study, you see. In many ways, it’s the simplest of the three studies. One vase. A few leafy sprigs. Easy enough to do.

Take the easy way out. That’s how I so often approach art. Drawing is always challenging for me, and working with oil pastel makes it even more so… so why not just make it as easy on myself as possible?

I surprised myself, though, by choosing to go with the second study, the one that included a marble vase. For once, I wanted to push myself, to see what I could do to create a marbled texture. This time, I didn’t want to just take the easiest way. That would have been too easy.

I’ve titled this oil pastel still life “Wonky Vases”, because, sure enough, they are a bit wonky. They’re a little lopsided, and they really don’t feel very grounded. It’s more like they’re almost floating. But… hey! I don’t care. For me, knowing that I was choosing something slightly more difficult gave me a sense of accomplishment before I even began this little painting.

As for the marble… I’m pleased. I took a chance and tried doing something I wasn’t sure how to do. So what if it doesn’t look exactly like marble? That, my friends, is beside the point. I also like the colors I chose, and I like the sense of dimension I created on the center vase. I know, the shadow is completely off, but again, that’s beside the point here.

For me, this oil pastel still life was — for all its wonkiness — an exercise in courage. This was me choosing not to take the path of least resistance, but to boldly and bravely step out on a path that I knew would present me with a few challenges.

I am proud of myself for making this choice, and I’m pleased with what I created. I love my wonky vases.



  1. Good for you for not playing it safe
    -and your wonky still life reminded me a bit of cezanne’s still life with the subtle variations and not perfect along the horizon line!

    I guess there is a time for expect representation but I usually prefer the uniqueness and energy that comes from
    Originals like this one
    And the pink vase (with marble lines that could also be reflections) have a nice warmth between the two gray vases- and then the informal symmetry had interest – the pink is off to the left slightly and I just love your painting

    Liked by 1 person

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