Almost everybody who ever put brush to canvas started by painting a couple of pieces of fruit and a jug… Painting still lives is virtually a rite of passage for budding artists when they begin to learn their craft and many of them never return to it.
I happen to love still lives. It is the only form of painting where I have the absolute control over everything: the subject, the settings, the light, the composition, colour and textures. I find it challenging to try to make a mango look like a mango and a straw hat to look like it was made of straw.
The French word for still life is ‘nature morte’ which literally means ‘dead nature’ which I suppose is all right if your subject is a dead parrot, but to make your painting come alive you have to learn the tricks of the trade. Juxtaposing objects of different colours and shapes, changing the angle of the light, fiddling with folds of the drapery, etc. can activate your picture space in exciting ways.
There is much more to still lives than two apples!
They also happen to be fairly popular with the art-buying public, a fact not to be disregarded.