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  • Writer's pictureAndre Rios Art

Bringing Everyday Objects to Life

Updated: Apr 11

Everyday objects can tell captivating stories when rendered in pastel. As I explore the enchanting realm of still life pastel art, I realize That I can breathe life into mundane objects and transform them into compelling narratives.


Still-life subjects offer an excellent opportunity for experimentation, learning, and honing my artistic skills. The process of painting a lifelike object requires a solid understanding of various aspects, including perspective, value, form, light and shadow dynamics, texture, and color. While tackling a complex still-life composition can be a challenging endeavor, I can alternatively select an intriguing solitary object and portray it as a standalone subject. This approach enables me to concentrate solely on the chosen object, free from distractions, allowing me to delve deeply into the distinctive characteristics that make the object remarkable, such as its shape, texture, reflections, and more.


Delving into the world of still-life art not only allows for skill development but also encourages a profound connection with the chosen subject. It's in this focused exploration that I, as an artist, discover the nuances of everyday objects that often go unnoticed.



 

In my view, there's something truly captivating about using everyday objects as subjects for pastel art, especially when it comes to weaving narratives. These objects can have a unique charm, largely because of their familiarity. When people can instantly recognize and relate to what they see, it creates an immediate connection to the narrative being portrayed.


Everyday objects, surprisingly, are rich in symbolism. They can be imbued with meaning, adding layers to the story the artist wants to tell. For example, a lighter might symbolize that small and fragile flame that pierces the darkness. It's fascinating how these ordinary items can take on a deeper significance.


What makes them even more intriguing is the personal connection viewers often have with these objects. We all have our memories and experiences tied to them, and this personal resonance enhances the emotional bond with the artwork. For instance, a worn-out pair of shoes might evoke nostalgia for some viewers, conjuring up memories of their own journeys.

Beyond this, everyday objects can be exceptional storytellers through their visual language.


How they're arranged, the play of light and shadow, and the textures they possess can all hint at a narrative. A forgotten coffee cup on a desk might suggest the absence of someone, while a table set for two implies a romantic dinner or an intimate conversation.


Moreover, creating realistic art of everyday objects often demands close observation and meticulous attention to detail. This process leads me to a profound understanding of the object's physical characteristics and its potential role in a narrative, allowing me to think beyond the superficial and infuse deeper meaning into my compositions.


 

Intentionality brings life into my artistic creations and this means that poses and expressions on a figurative artwork are important but also objects on the composition and the small details that go unnoticed at a first glance start to show themselves to a true art lover. Such is the case for my artwork “My Soul” where every single aspect of the piece was intentionally crafted to convey a hidden meaning.


This piece is way more than a self portrait, it’s a metaphysical vision of myself in which I am wearing a trash bag that symbolizes throwing away a part of myself.


The omega symbol inscribed on the red button represents “the end” and the button itself seems to be asking to be pressed but the witness gazes into the eyes of the viewer with a concerned expression, almost as if he is waiting for their answer to some very important question.


As we look around we notice the white dots on the background and it becomes clear that it’s the night sky with a constellation (these dots were painted with photo-luminescent paint and glow under black light), this is a specific constellation that marks an exact positioning of the stars at a specific date and time when looking towards East from a specific place on earth.


These kinds of details are extremely hard to find out unless you know what you are looking for or if the artist gives some kind of hint to them. With these hints it wouldn't be hard to find the last hidden detail of this piece.


The complete meaning of a piece is often only perceived when one “looks deeply” into every aspect of it.

(Some say that “the eyes are the windows to the soul” and I believe this is very true)


 

In my journey with still life pastel art, I've discovered hidden stories within everyday objects. These ordinary items, transformed by pastels, hold personal memories, symbolism and emotions.I encourage you to start your own artistic exploration. Pick up your pastels and let everyday objects tell your unique stories in your paintings. There's a world of creativity waiting for you to uncover.

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