Monday, December 25, 2017

A Holiday Miracle

So many of the big things come from small things, and this final painting of the series is a return to small things from the big things, with a tiny rendition of the quintessential three green apples. 

Three Green Apples, 5 inches by 7 inches

And just as a reminder that one cannot live by apples alone, I painted a healthy dram of a single malt scotch, revealing a rich golden glow and a startling nose of peat smoke and a passing note of leather, ocean brine and wonderful people and places far away.

A Single Malt, 5 inches by 7 inches

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Good Practice

Generally I avoid painting limes, only because they only show a certain range of shape and color, basically green, shiny and round. Slicing the lime opened up a few more colors and surfaces and shapes. It's always good practice to paint subjects that force you to examine colors and details that you might normally overlook.

A Sliced Lime, 5 inches by 7 inches

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Comfort Zone

Early this morning we woke up to find a small gift from one of my wife's cooking class students. When this woman showed up for her first Thai cooking class, she brought along a package of eggs from her chickens, so it was only fitting that the small gift was coffee cups with an intricately ornate pattern, including an image of a rooster. Needless to say, the coffee I drank from that cup was fantastic, and something about the fancy and complex shape and colors was appealing enough to justify a small painting study. While it is well out of my comfort zone, it felt like a good exercise in finding the shorthand for some details, and the tightness for a few other details. 

Rooster Cup, 5 inches by 7 inches

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Greatest Gift

I try to live my life with a certain level of purity and control, however certain vices might land me on the naughty list if I really took a closer look. I imagine wanderlust and electric guitars might be the most obvious sins of my mortal being, but the very fabric of my existence is closely intertwined with my grand stainless steel Pasquini espresso machine. Short of bowing down in prayer each morning, I have a set ritual of powering up, tamping down, calculated extraction and the jet-engine sound of frothing and steaming, heroically poured together to create one of the greatest cups of coffee that has ever existed on this planet. You may think I brag, but I am only the messenger of an actual fact, that the coffee I can create with this machine is likely to be the best coffee in the entire world. If anyone doubts this, I welcome you to make an appointment to stop by and I'll make you a cup, and you can sit down, take a sip and look me in the face and try to tell me that it's just ok. I dare you.

The Illy espresso is delivered by the case, every 6 to 8 weeks. The Illy espresso cup is the iconic profile of one of the greatest gifts the universe has ever granted to David Oleski, after his wife, his family, and all of his greatest friends, all over the world. 

The Illy Espresso Cup, 5 inches by 7 inches

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Intricate and Colorful

A bunch of grapes is an interesting subject. It has to be approached as a single mass, made up of the components of individual grapes. Only after the entire body of the bunch is rendered can the sheen and luminosity of each grape be explored. It is very similar to how one should approach life. The big picture gives us the overview for the big decisions, but within that broad and sweeping campaign of choices we can explore the precious and wonderful details that make life so intricately colorful.

A Bunch of Red Grapes, 5 inches by 7 inches

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How So Very Delicious

Few things are as red and delicious as a red delicious apple. These subjects never just sit comfortably, as they always seem to be leaning rakishly one way or the other, and the dark red sheen is almost defiant in how little color it actually gives up. If there ever was a subject that I could say gave off a bit of a bad attitude, I'd have to say it was the red delicious apple. I'm sure if the apple had hands, it would be making a face and flashing a peace sign, or even sticking out its tongue and making gang signs, or devil horns. There's nothing to like about red delicious apples, other than how vivid red they are, and of course, how so very delicious. 

Red Delicious Apple, 5 inches by 7 inches

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Miracle of Life

The shiny black and red plum is the ultimate celebration of how to paint all of the things that are not even there. The actual surface color is barely an afterthought to the surface sheen and reflections of all of the colors around the subject. This is, in effect, a study of the impressions of color upon a subject by all of the surrounding elements. Just as each of us is the product of all we've learned, and all of the people and experiences that have influenced us throughout our lives, our own signature input to the path we follow is only one small part of what makes us each a unique and special miracle of life.

A Black and Red Plum, 5 inches by 7 inches

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Slice of the Great Beyond

Whenever I slice an avocado I'm presented with a combination of challenges. The hard and straight slice becomes an inorganic and almost architectural element, revealing the cross section of the surfaces and edges and vivid colors of the open interior. This defies many of the intentions of my still-life work, as everything is generally a celebration of complex curves and transitions. The slice becomes an artificial aspect to the composition, and rendering the shadow of the seed across the flat surface is unlike anything else I generally would include in a painting. Of course challenges are what inspire us to grow and evolve in our abilities, and what else is life than a invitation to evolve and adapt to each new stage of our existence, from our fleeting and precious time on earth and into the great beyond that challenges every part of our understanding of life itself. 

A Sliced Avocado, 5 inches by 7 inches

Sunday, December 17, 2017


If someone were to ask for the original reason for the twenty-five days of paintings, the real answer would not be about selling paintings, or making small practice paintings, or even adding to the range of inventory. To be honest, the biggest reason I do these is for the connections they create. People use them as gifts, to connect to their loved ones, and some people collect them just to slowly augment a growing connection with my work. For me, I enjoy reconnecting with collectors from over the years, and new people are discovering me, and learning more about my world. Collectors that follow me on social media enjoy the daily posts and updates, and many of them reach out just to say hello again, and to let me know how much happiness they still get from works purchased many years ago. 

The substance of each painting is also a celebration of connections, of the spaces between the subjects, and the dialogues that are created in the rhythms and patterns of colors and shapes and gestures. A pear and an apple are not only different, but the subtle lean of the pear away from the apple almost suggests a personal indifference, yet the stem still pays attention to whatever conversation might be left unspoken between them. Maybe not adoration, but a mutual respect, just like we all shall learn to have with each other.

Pear and an Apple, 5 inches by 7 inches

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Delicate Surface

The translucent red of raspberries is an evasive and challenging color to address, compounded with the delicate surface details. I had to come up with a shorthand to describe the surface without getting caught up in rendering the entire grid of texture. Of course I had to stop myself from eating them before I didn't have enough left to paint.

Three Raspberries, 5 inches by 7 inches

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Light Within

It's always interesting to see how the process of study can discover and create such broad variations between two seemingly similar subjects. This is in much the same way we find the broad differences between each other as people, as we dissect and study the spaces between each of us and allow those spaces to become their own defining principles. Despite the differences in color and substance, we are all nestled together on this great world like these two Bartlett pears, and in the end we only have each other for the love and support that defines us as compassionate human beings. 

The light is within us all.  

Two Bartlett Pears, 5 inches by 7 inches

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Absolute Gold and Truly Delicious

Sometimes a golden delicious apple will actually live up to its name, and look like it's carved out of gold, and sweet and crunchy and delicious. This was one of those rare times when appearances do not deceive, and all is well here in the snowbound wilderness of the David Oleski North American Studio. This piece will look great hung above your chimney with care, if you were so inclined to be moved to acquire it for your personal collection of fine David Oleski paintings.

A Golden Delicious Apple, 5 inches by 7 inches

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cherry Tomatoes

On their own, cherry tomatoes don't seem to be an interesting subject, but a trio creates an interesting dialogue in the spaces between each piece. Tomatoes have an interesting luminosity, and the soft sheen of the surface is challenging to explore on this small scale. And of course cherry tomatoes are a tasty and nutritious addition to any fresh garden salad.

Three Cherry Tomatoes, 5 inches by 7 inches

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pistachios and the Open Heart

Few things are as satisfying as pistachios. Few things are as frustrating as a pistachio without an open seam in the shell. It becomes an exercise in acceptance and emotional detachment to merely set aside the uncracked pistachio in the ever-growing pile of successfully emptied shells, and to move on with an open heart, and a clear conscious. There can always be more pistachios.

Three Pistachios, 5 inches by 7 inches

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ultra Violet Fig

On this eleventh day of the 25 days of Christmas, I'm back in the studio and painting fresh new paintings at a feverish pace. Today I decided to embrace and study the new Pantone 2018 
Color of the Year, Ultra Violet.

The fig is an excellent subject to study a broad range of colors and the subtle transitions that can be observed. This fig did not let me down, as I was challenged to find the colors that connect green to red through the transition of a subtle but visible passage of Ultra Violet. It's always nice to tie in some of today's color trends with the traditional medium of still life. 

A Fig, 5 inches by 7 inches

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cherry Red

Cherries are the shiny hard rock candy of still life painting, and I'm always surprised with how much vivid color and sparkling reflections I can continue to find the longer I study them. I could easily get caught up in trying to render minute details with even smaller brushes, but I like struggling to find the shorthand that can suggest just as much with detail with less marks, and simpler design. Of course this early in the season the cherries aren't quite as plump and luminous as they will be in the upcoming weeks, so I may revisit this subject at some point before too long.

This painting will be dry enough to be framed and shipped in a few days, just in time for you to explore all the ways that cherry red can brighten your world this holiday season.

Three Cherries, 5 inches by 7 inches

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Blue Christmas

There are so few blue fruits and vegetables. I can always find a blue sheen in the reflection of sky, and I’ll often try to find the transient colors in greens that border on cobalt blue, and of course the black plum is full of wonderful violets and hints of blue in the frosted surfaces, but nothing is as vividly blue as the blueberry. This little gem will be available to be shipped on December 12th, just in time for you to enjoy a blue Christmas.

Three Blueberries, 5 inches by 7 inches

Possibilities of Pastries

Many of you may recall the frenzy that was created when I posted a painting of a slice of my wife’s cheesecake. Everything that you knew of the David Oleski portfolio was upended with a simple study of a perfect pastry. My own world went through a sense of upheaval, as I found my sense of balance and simplicity challenged by the possibility of a new realm of exploration. All of the greatest pastries in the world could have become my target, cannoli, tiramisu, baklava, gelato, flan, crème brûlée, on and on it would go. It might still happen someday, but today, this wonderful painting is still available for purchase. This will be available to be shipped on December 12th, just in time for you to ponder the possibilities of pastries in painting.

A Slice of Cheesecake, 5 inches by 7 inches

Simple and Perfect

Of course the question “which came first” is a trick question. The very ability to ask the question comes from the answer which lies in the wording of the question, with “which” coming first. The question itself is the actual first evidence of an observation of an ongoing circular pattern. Patterns in nature defy the nature of entropy, of things only falling apart and into disarray.  Patterns are sometimes the most efficient means of the dispersion of energy, and things as perfect as eggs, or as complex as art, are all part of this ongoing dissolution of all the energy of the universe. So this is why I present a painting of a simple and perfect egg. This painting will be available to be framed and shipped on December 12th, just in time for you to ponder the wonders of the universe.

An Egg, 5 inches by 7 inches

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Taste and Self Control

During the Bangkok residency I continue to post and make available paintings from the 2016 collection. If there were any regrets on not getting one of the small masterpieces last year, this year will be even better, as the accompanying gift certificate will include the full cost of packing and shipping its purchase value. The mango is always a great study in a broad range of colors, from red to  green to violet and yellow. This painting will be available to be shipped on December 12th, to arrive just in time for you to credit yourself for having great taste and self control.

A Mango, 5 inches by 7 inches

The Black Plum, Revisited

While we’re setting up the Bangkok office, there will be a few of the stellar pieces from last year’s collection being made available. If you passed up the chance to own one of these gems before, the holiday miracle of a second chance is no available to you.

This black plum painting is a great study in every color that is not black. I’m always intimidated when I start a painting of a dark subject, but by the conclusion I wind up feeling like a rock star. This painting will be available to be shipped on December 12th, just in time for you to also feel like a rock star because you made such a great decision to own it.

A Black Plum, 5 inches by 7 inches

Sparkling and Delicious

The fourth day of December brings a trio of sardines, in clear, fresh, mountain spring water. Typically I like them in olive oil, or sometimes even in mustard, but for the purpose of this painting I wanted them to sparkle with the refreshing cold goodness that only clear, fresh, mountain spring water can provide. And on this day, I will make the sparkling excitement available to you. This painting will be ready to be framed and shipped on December 12th, to arrive just in time for you to start planning your sardine dishes for the holidays. 

Three Sardines, 5 inches by 7 inches

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Red and Delicious

Here in Thailand, the sliced tomato is the only part of the papaya salad that isn’t tart, sour, salty or tear-your-face-off spicy. And it’s also the part most people never eat, so I’m getting a good taste of sliced tomatoes every time I sit down to eat with my family. As a painting subject, the tomato presents an interesting satin finish sheen to a rich and challenging red. This painting will be available to be framed and shipped on December 12th, just in time for you to have yet one more way to enjoy a delicious vine-ripened tomato. 

A Delicious Vine-Ripened Tomato
Five inches by Seven inches

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Green and Delicious Tomorrow

In the Udonthani office of the David Oleski Studio, mid-morning here is still the middle of last night back home, so it’s safe to say that I can see the future, and I’ll clue you in on what to expect for tomorrow. I can tell you right now it’s going to be green and crunchy and delicious. This stunning little study of a golden delicious apple will be available to be beautifully framed and shipped on December 12th, and only then will you realize how silly you were not to own more of these gems. 

And of course there is an occasional ghost in the machinery of these inter webs and the purchase link may not work, so feel free to email me with your desire to own this piece, or even just to find out more about the future, because, well, international date line.

A Golden Delicious Apple
5 inches by 7 inches

Golden Delicious December First

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 $250, 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 $250, 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 2018. 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, including other Very Small Paintings. 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, and also in conjunction with the group of talented artists at 25 Days of Minis.

Nothing says Christmas like a golden delicious apple, posing and smiling for the painting like a movie star. This painting will be available to be beautifully framed and shipped on December 12th, just in time to be enjoyed while you think of what to get for everyone else

One Golden Delicious Apple
5 inches by 7 inches Sold!