Monday, November 23, 2015

A Painting of a Raw Oyster

A few weeks ago I learned how to shuck oysters. Interesting that one of the more expensive things you can order in a restaurant takes as much skill to prepare as opening a can of paint. It reminds me of something artist Robert Jackson told me. At one of his openings, standing in front of a giant painting of balloon dogs, mention was made that he makes his own balloon dogs. One woman was surprised that he was so talented, and he wondered if being able to create a lifelike painting of balloon dogs didn't also count for talent. 

This was an interesting subject, with not enough shell visible to reveal the mother-of-pearl iridescence, but interesting assortment of textures from wet and shiny to polished shiny to the crusty outside surface of the shell.


Sold! Private collection, Richmond, Virginia

Three Blueberries

Few things are such a vivid blue as blueberries.


Sold! Private collection, undisclosed location

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Hungarian Wax Pepper

Nothing is as challenging as the vivid yellows and oranges of a big yellow pepper. Reflections are every bit as important as the translucent quality of this vegetable. The whole thing lights up with the glow of sunlight, resulting in a great lesson in color observation.

Click here to purchase this painting

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Red D,Anjou Pear

Until December 25th, I will be making available twenty five very small framed 5 inch by 7 inch paintings, for a special promotional discount price of $240, just in time for the perfect holiday gift. As though that weren’t enough of a holiday miracle, included with each painting will be a gift certificate for $240, good toward the purchase of any piece from my current and upcoming available inventory of full-sized paintings, valid from the day you receive your very small painting until December 31st of 2016. As many certificates as you collect can be combined together for any purchase, although these cannot be used in combination with any other offer or promotion. The paintings will be listed as they are finished, here on the Very Small Paintings page, as well as on the Paintings of David Oleski Facebook Page, to be sold through the modern miracle of Ebay.

All things begin with a red pear.


Sold! Private collection, San Francisco, California

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ambrosia Apple

The amazing size and color of the Ambrosia apple makes a shocking statement in any fruit basket. And of course I can't help but using it to make a shocking statement in a very small painting.

Ambrosia Apple
Private collection

Sunday, December 21, 2014

An Apple and an Ornament

I always try to avoid getting caught in the reflections in the subjects in my paintings, but sometimes I wind up painting a little self portrait hidden in the still life. I tried to capture the look of shock and awe in my features, of the dawning realization of the fleeting transience of life, possibly a rich and pensive look, complete with furrowed brow looking to the bleak future on the far horizon. I'm not sure if I captured any of that.

An Apple and an Ornament
Private collection

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Two Figs

There were many great colors to explore in these two figs, and the totally flat finish of the surface created a unique challenge to render the swell and volume of these shapes.

Two Figs
sold! Private collection, New York City, New York

Friday, December 19, 2014

Three Cherries

Three cherries can coexist peacefully, despite the gesture of their stems reflecting a difference of opinion and core beliefs. We can learn so much from these cherries, if we can only open our hearts and our minds.

Three Cherries
Private collection, Alexandria, Virginia

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Pear and a Lemon

Occasionally I'll make some odd combinations of subjects, and fruit seems to always get along nicely together. A pear and a lemon creates a nice exercise in the study of yellow.

A Pear and a Lemon
Private collection

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Sliced Apple

For the first time in my entire career as an artist and even as a human being, I sliced an apple in half, and painted the offending knife sitting idly by at the scene of the crime. While the apple immediately turned yellow and challenged my abilities to find the right color for freshly revealed innards, the knife provided an excellent opportunity to study reflections.

A Sliced Apple
Private collection, Greenville, South Carolina

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Green Apples

I haven't completely run out of ideas, but after finishing a very small commission of a bouquet of tulips, I wondered if I could fit three apples onto one of these very small panels. Without using extra tiny brushes, I believe I was able to capture a decent sense of depth and presence.

Three Green Apples
sold! Private collection, Sugar Land, Texas

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Red Bell Pepper

As the days get shorter and darker, I struggle to find any color in the world around me. Everything is dull and muted, and the reflections of secondary light sources become even stronger. In a critique of another artist's work, Van Gogh described how the artist didn't have strong light, and without strong light, one cannot make a strong painting. Yes, Vincent, you were right.

A Red Bell Pepper
Private collection

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cheese and Cracker

Sometimes I just feel like having a piece of brie cheese on a crispy white cracker, and then other times I feel like actually doing a painting of a piece of brie cheese on a crispy white cracker, and then eating it. Today was one of those days.

Cheese on a Cracker
Private collection

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Yellow Habañero Pepper

While struggling with the red habañero pepper, I decided to decide if the color was the challenge, or the qualities of gloss and luminosity. It seems as though my ability to decipher nuances of color is stronger in certain ranges than in others, and yellow seems to lend itself to being understood a little more easily. Of course it might also be more forgiving, being that it's so pale and full of lightness on its own.

A Yellow Habañero Pepper
Private collection

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Red Habañero Pepper

It's odd how challenging this little subject can be. Such clean and simple lines, a high sheen, and a high level of translucence and reflection of secondary light sources. This is all just enough to have me totally stumped, and just trying to bluff my way through it.

A Red Habañero Pepper
Private collection

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Delicious Slice of Canteloupe

I like to explore the sculptural qualities of a slice of cantaloupe, although for the first time I believe I started capturing qualities of translucence as the dark side seemed to glow with light and reflection.

A Slice of Cantaloupe
sold! Private collection, Rumson, New Jersey

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Seckel Pear

It was hard to stop myself from rendering the delicate curves and colors of a Seckel pear. The shape is always so subtle, and the colors range from muted to absolutely brilliant.

A Seckel Pear
Private collection, Bondurant, Iowa

Monday, December 8, 2014

An Espresso Cup

Few things get me through these dark days of early winter like a smooth dark shot of espresso. I keep returning to this subject, and I'm always intrigued by the depth of the porcelain finish. It has a luminosity that feels almost like marble, but on a much smaller scale. Always a challenge.

An Espresso Cup
sold! Private collection, Sugar Land, Texas

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Sliced Lemon

It's always interesting to see the complex shapes and reflections made when a piece of fruit is sliced in half.

A Sliced Lemon
Private collection

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Two Lemons

Two Lemons, offset and carved out with tiny brushes. An exercise in focus and patience.

Two Lemons
sold! Private collection, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Macintosh Apple

A McIntosh apple combines elements of red and green at the same time, with a high sheen and a delicious sweet taste.
A McIntosh Apple
Private collection

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Simple Egg

Last summer I tried to execute a larger study of a simple egg. For some reason I believed I was failing terribly, and I scraped it out and moved on to something else. A few weeks later I saw a photo that was shot with the beginning of the painting in the background, blocked in with patches of paint. There are times when it might be good to take a second look before I declare defeat. As always, the simple egg stands up well as a very small study.

A Simple Egg
sold! Private collection, Washington, DC

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two Pieces of a Tangerine

As the days grow dark and short, the delicious tangerine is a burst of color and freshness.

Two Pieces of a Tangerine
Private collection

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

An Asian Pear

I'd always avoided painting the Asian pear, only because of the lack of a defining shine. I've explored every version of secondary light sources, reflections from underneath, compounded reflections of adjacent surfaces, and on and on, yet nothing prepared me for the smooth flat finish of this new subject. I learned some good things.

An Asian Pear
sold! Private collection, Washington, DC