Brown Betty

Brown Betty

I found this little one-cup Brown Betty teapot in a thrift store on Clark street. Forever I was wondering how do artists come up with all these interesting or old objects for their still lives… Do they have hundred year old attics full of dusty finds?  The answer is – thrift stores! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, quite literally.

These days, when we take our walks in the neighborhood, my saintly husband takes his iPod or a book with him and waits patiently on a sidewalk while I hunt for my still life objects. I then emerge – dusty, sweaty and triumphant – with another $2 trophy. This Brown Betty served well as an art model and also is doing a great job brewing my morning tea.

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel. To buy this painting click here.


8 thoughts on “Brown Betty

  1. my favorite part is the refection of the grapes on the tea pot. the whole painting is wonderful. can i have it in my house?

    • The value range is much easier in oil than it is in watercolor. This is one of the reasons I wanted to paint in oil so much. The deepest darks are readily achievable, just mix the right chroma. I am not sure I have found “my” medium in oils. I thought so with graphite, then I thought so with watercolor. I really like oils, but we’ll see, won’t we… Glad you liked it, Leslie!

  2. This is fantastic Alex! I love the shine of the glaze on Brown Betty – I haven’t done a still life since I was in school but this is inspiring me to give it a go again – this is such an amazing piece and clearly there is no artistic medium that you haven’t mastered!

    • Thanks, Nicola! Still life as a genre interests me a great deal. For some reason it finds itself a bit neglected as an art subject as far as I can see. I am wondering why. An artist can construct a whole world with selected objects and their relationships, bring in emotions, thoughts and feelings into this small universe. I think there are amazing possibilities in it.

  3. HI Alex, Wow! When I first opened this page and saw your super dark background I thought to myself, Alex got her darks! The white vase with the beautiful reflections against that dark background is stunning. The brown betty is beautiful and I love the bright white highlights on the pot. And then the grapes. Luscious, delicious, juicy looking grapes! Yum. The reflection of the grapes in the brown betty are so interesting and draw me right into the whole painting. This is a beautiful painting.

    • The ease of going real dark was one of the main reasons I started studying oils, Carol. Thank you for noticing that. This was one thing that frustrated me in watercolor work – how difficult it is for me to build up darks and achieve the value range I really want. This problem is much simpler with oils. Of course there are other challenges, I am finding out :).

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