20 Earthly Delights – Contemporary Realism Still Lifes

“Earthly Delights” is the title of a selection of contemporary realism still life paintings by Scott Fraser, which has been on view at Jenkins Johnson Gallery (San Francisco, California).

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Fraser’s painting process in this preview.

Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Saint Sebastian III,” oil on board, 13 1/2 x 14 in.

Contemporary Realism: 20 Earthly Delights 

Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Deviled Eggs,” oil on board, 11 x 4 1/2 in.

By Scott Fraser

My paintings are highly realized so they need to be grounded technically. That said, I would take an interesting painting over an empty but well-crafted piece of art any day. With enough time and determination anyone can learn technique, but finding what makes a work memorable is much more elusive. To be emotive with your brush — that can’t be taught.

Many of my more complex pieces require pre-studies. This is where I work out the kinks before tackling the painting itself. For me, painting is an outgrowth of my understanding of drawing. It all goes back to that hand-eye training.

As far as my painting process goes, I use a high-key acrylic underpainting washed in like watercolor so it is very transparent, over an acrylic gessoed ground. I sand/scrape and manipulate this layer a lot before starting in on the alla prima over-painting in oil. This is thick and opaque, but still luminous, only to be grayed later by detail and a number of coats scumbled on or glazed transparently.

Later on I seal the whole thing with Liquin and then keep working it subtly until it feels right. This technique is similar to that used by Richard Estes. I had the good fortune of staying on his property in Maine one summer as part of a fellowship he sponsored. I picked up some great tips, just talking shop with him.

Additional examples of contemporary realism / still life art:

Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Cool Hand Luke,” oil on board, 9 x 10 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Spiral Sequence,” oil on copper, 3 1/2 x 10 3/4 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Time Travel,” oil on board, 21 x 12 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Good Luck,” oil on board, 18 x 14 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Electric Dream,” oil on board, 47 1/4 x 12 1/4 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Gulf Stream,” oil on board, 27 x 44 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Walk the Line,” oil on board, 6 1/2 x 4 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Trina’s Plums,” oil on board, 9 x 15 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Steamboats of Desire,” oil on board, 9 x 15 in.

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Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Three Moths,” oil on board, 9 x 11 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Sticks from Button Rock,” oil on board, 14 x 21 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Lemon Lemon Lemon,” oil on board, 43 x 22 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Russian Red,” oil on board, 7 1/2 x 10 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Monkey Inferno IV,” oil on board, 43 x 24 3/4 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Happy Hour,” oil on board, 9 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Largemouth Bass,” oil on board, 12 x 20 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Hot Dog with Mustard,” oil on board, 8 x 12 in.
Still life oil painting
Scott Fraser, “Hawk Feather,” oil on board, 5 x 11 in.

Related > Daniela Astone: Creating an Elegant Still Life