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An Introduction to Still Life - Paul Rossi  PR001

 5 week course


Date: Thursday 21st, 28th November,  5th, 12th, 19th December 2019

Time: 2pm - 4pm
Cost: £100 - materials to be provided by student (paper, pencils, pen & ink, charcoal, pastels)
Available places: 10
Tutor: Paul Rossi
Venue: Stiwdio 34,

34 Alfred Street,

Neath, SA11 1EH.

Workshop code: PR001


Paul Rossi is one of the gallery's internationally recognised house artists.  This is what he says about his course: 

What is still life? Still-life has existed in one form or another since antiquity; Why is still-life an important genre or art form? Is it simply a source of pleasure, or does it have something to teach us?  


Still-life supports the proposition that "ordinary things are very beautiful if you have eyes to see." Still-life is possibly the best way to discover the basic techniques of drawing and painting. The drawing/painting skills developed in still-life can be applied to any subject in art.  We should expect to be challenged by the demands of still-life painting. Caravaggio said that it is as difficult to render such things as fruit as it is to paint the human figure.


The discipline of still-life is about slowing-down, taking a break from the fast-time of film and photography, in order to experience visual reality with renewed eyes.  In other words, still-life can be seen, as it was seen by many of its practitioners, as a spiritual discipline.

Among the issues that we will consider in the course of our sessions will be composition: still-life encourages an understanding of pictorial composition.  What are the qualities of good composition?

We will also look at the history of the genre; this will help us to understand and evaluate still-life.  Still-life played an important role in the development of modernism, which meant that it can help to introduce us to modern painting.


In order to make still-life, or for that matter, any genre of painting, we need to consider the principles of visual perception.  We need to be aware of the psychological forces that inform the visual field. 

Perhaps the best way of understanding the still-life genre is by making still-life compositions.

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