Revitalization of Rhopography in the Oil Paintings of PJ Mills

Watermelon and Christmas lights, oil painting on canvas, 51 x 64, PJ Mills

 

The oil paintings of Miami, Florida based artist PJ Mills present everyday objects such as a toy, spiritual items, food, and personal possessions of the artist, all realistically rendered in still life scenes.  The artwork objects may be contextually placed in a still life setting or within more ambiguous spaces. At first glance this subject matter may seem to have little importance— yet these paintings make viewers take another look at these ordinary items perhaps previously taken for granted. As the artist PJ Mills says,” These paintings focus on those personal possessions that I find curiously engaging.”  And we agree–there is a substantial presence in each of these images. Some of the canvases are as large as 51 x 64 inches and as small as 12 x 12 inches, with each study holding its own as an artwork.

Paper Crane, oil painting on canvas, 48 x 48, PJ Mills

 

Steak, oil painting on canvas, 18 x 18, PJ Mills

 

PJ Mills is art historically connected to the practice of painters of the past in that his painterly examination may represent or symbolize the artist’s ideas or the items may have metaphorical implications. Still life painting of such common everyday objects is often referred to art historically as “rhopography.”  According to The English Oxford Dictionary  the art historical definition of rhopography, is a depiction of subject matter considered insignificant or trivial, as still life, the domestic interior, animals, insects and the like.

 

Rabbit’s Foot and Communion Hosts, oil painting on canvas, 48 x 48, PJ Mills

 

Pinned Beetle, oil painting on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, PJ Mills

 

PJ Mills subjects of interest for his paintings may include the contemporary, such as Polaroid photos, as well as objects present through time such as things that maintain religious or supernatural characteristics– divining rods, masks, or spiritual fetish articles. The artist is also very aware of how a simple juxtaposition of two or more objects will express far more complex meanings.   The juxtaposition of objects arranged by visual artists is similar to how many poets lay down verse. It is not the words per se that contain the power, but the unknown image that arises from what was created by the juxtaposition. Defined as the “imago ignota,” it is the combination of words which elevate them beyond the language of the obvious. “I contend that this holds true for images, as well,” says the artist.

 

Polaroids, oil painting on canvas, 48 x 48, PJ Mills

 

“In the last few years,” says PJ Mills, ” I have started to isolate and focus on personal effects that relate specifically to personal consumption and identity. A woman’s compact may be an aid for the adjustment of lipstick but also holds the secrets of her self-absorption snapped shut in the tidy compartment of her purse. Risque and subjective photographs (Polaroids) may be titillating, they are also quite personal and speak of privacy as well. Jewel like insects, the tiny treasures of boyhood fascination or even the food we eat raise questions of adult obsession with consumerism. Issues of identity and consumerism all stem directly and indirectly from strange as well as obvious places in our lives. These visual investigations of isolated objects and/or juxtapositions of personal effects, represent the seemingly obvious. But also the often enigmatic, and yet always metaphorically pregnant meanings.”

 

Clown & Thorns, oil painting on canvas, 51 x 64, PJ Mills

 

“My approach to painting is highly personal and intuitive. During the creative process I try to think as little as possible about this work and let the subjects surface from my subconscious. The result is quite suggestive by its contents and symbolically loaded with historical references. This material develops from entirely personal experiences and through obsessions I have with objects and my musing regarding the human condition as it relates to identity issues. The personal subjectivity of this work is not a grand philosophical statement. It is instead more closely related to a genre sensibility characteristic of the mundane used as metaphors for larger ideas.”

 

Monster, oil painting on canvas, 48 x 48, PJ Mills

 

“Common Still life painting that was popular in the 17th century Dutch and Flemish often contained hidden allegories such as the Christian Passion, Resurrection or the transience of things in life. They were little paintings with big ideas. The paintings during this time that concerned themselves with life, death and transient events between were often referred to as “Vanitas” paintings. Not in the sense of vainness or conceit; “Vanitas” often a latin term used to describe a notion of evanescence of earthly possessions and the life linked to the work. The meanings in these paintings were conveyed by the use of objects, mostly familiar and everyday items and were given a symbolic connotation. My paintings are similar in the sense that they isolate a particular object or group of objects containing a history of symbolic references. Within the body of my work, historical reference and symbolic references are typically ignored and the object is valued for purely personal reasons. The result often has an element of cognitive dissonance if not absurdity to the reasons behind its selection. I find the confusion intriguing.”

Then the brilliant artist PJ Mills simply sums up his work by stating– “I depart from seventeenth century concepts and slip in contemporary wackiness.”

 

Captive Bolt Pistol & Toy, oil painting, 48 x 48, PJ Mills

 

PJ Mills received his MFA degree in painting from Cornell University and has exhibited in numerous US art galleries. You can view more paintings on the artist’s website here.

Follow the artist PJ Mills on Instagram here.

Visit PJ Mills’ Facebook page here.

 

Wishbone, oil painting on canvas, 12 x 12, PJ Mills

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Linda Coppens | Drawing the Line in a Turbulent World

Swirling colors n4, Linda Coppens, 28 x 19 x 0.1 cm Painting made with inks and oil pastels on Rives BFK paper

Swirling colors no 4, Linda Coppens,
28 x 19 x 0.1 cm
Painting made with inks and oil pastels on Rives BFK paper

Artist Linda Coppens, divides her time between Belgium and Spain.  Educated as a psychologist, she says that those interests led to the development of her artistic theme: “the complexity of the human being and the influence of our past experiences on our current experiences.”

Swirling Colors No 6, Linda Coppens,

Swirling Colors No 6, Linda Coppens, 31 x 25 x 0.1 cm Painting in inks, oil pastels, on Rives BFK paper

Linda says that by drawing upon her training as a psychologist–” I incorporate into my work a variety of ideas, infusing it with another range of textures beyond the pictorial. This gives it a more open-ended character that invites the viewer to appreciate it in her/his own way.”

Linda refers to herself as a versatile painter and enjoys working in acrylics but also in oil and cold wax. “I discovered that the oil and cold wax with its soft, transparent consistency is an ideal material for expressing the layered nature of memory, our past experiences. Every experience is coloured by the foregoing. The transparent or opaque layers in my work refer to these experiences. Each layer shows signs of previous layers and includes pieces of life that are trapped inside. Sometimes these traces and pieces of life come to the surface and determine how the surface looks like, sometimes they stay hidden underneath but there always remain traces.”

When working with a brush, Linda Coppen’s lines become broader strokes, as in her painting series Relations, of which the artist says, “forms, shapes, color and lines in several layers represent the exchange within human relationships.”

 

relation No. 5, Linda Coppens

relation No. 5, Linda Coppens

 

Linda Coppens paintings are sold through her site  in her online shop.

 

Relationship No 2, Linda Coppens

Relationship No 2, Linda Coppens

 

Linda Coppens blog  www.lindacoppens.com

 

Relationship No 4, Linda Coppens

Relationship No 4, Linda Coppens

 

 

 

 

My Article, The Faces of Anton Kilian, Published on Xposy Magazine

THE WONDER OF YOU,oil painting on canvas, Anton Kilian

THE WONDER OF YOU,oil painting on canvas, Anton Kilian

You can read my article, The Faces of Anton Kilian here.

I’ve scheduled future articles on the art of Karen Fitzgerald, Metrov, Hildy Maze, and Catherine Small.

Take a look at my articles on Xposy and if your think you work will fit, leave a comment and a link to your art site. Best Wishes!

 

Double-Selfie Becomes Oil Painting via African Portrait Project Artist Commission

reference photo for double portrait

Thank-you to Jackie and partner for allowing us to share their double-selfie reference photo! The artist Anton Killian turned this photo into an original oil painting on canvas. Jackie chose the color orange for the painting.

 

AfricanPPAnton Kiliancompletecommission

 

You can commission your own high quality yet affordable portrait in a variety of styles from one of several African artists– find the details here.

Read our previous article Startling New Faces From the African Portrait Project Artists here.

Wine and Food Still Life Oil Paintings by Penelope Moore In Our Live Online Art Auction Nov 4th

Original oil on canvas, 24×18″ – Framed in a Black Floater Frame, Wine Painting by Napa Artist Penelope Moore
in live online art auction Nov 4th. Ships same day of payment.

This oil painting still life of a wine and seafood dinner is currently on display at SIMI Winery in the town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County, California, USA. If you live in the Northern California area or will be in the California wine country anytime soon, bid on and buy this painting and pick up the painting in person and meet the artist Penelope Moore. She will be happy to make arrangements to meet you at the winery for a private tasting for four!

Attend our live online art auction on November 4th, 2012 to bid!.

RSVP today and you will be notified one hour before the auction starts at 11:00 a.m. EST

Here is the link to attend the auction: http://tophatter.com/auctions/7666?campaign=community

Wine On Wall, oil painting by Penelope Moore, 1 of 3 paintings by the artist in our live online art auction Nov 4th

My Thoughts, oil painting by Penelope Moore

Penelope’s paintings are a reflection of her passion for food, wine and joie de vivre. They are contemporary in style with an emphasis on color, mood and light. Through her subject matter, Penelope portrays a unique twist on life’s simple pleasures. Penelope’s exhibits her work at wineries throughout Sonoma and Napa Valley. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the Staglin Family, Ehlers Estate, Benziger Family, Eric Ross Winery, Malibu Family Winery, Thomas Arvid, Robin Quivers and Danielle Steele. http://www.penelopepaintings.com

joie de vivre |ˌ zh wä də ˈvēvrə| noun exuberant enjoyment of life. ORIGIN French, literally ‘joy of living.’