Modern and Unique

The genre still life conjures all sorts of images of stuffy oil paintings of stiff flower arrangements in gold guild frames like this--

Ok I actually own this--I love a flea market find. I have a wall of them and use them like wallpaper.

You are right that is a still life-but if this isn’t your thing, that is ok. We are going to review a couple of pieces that push the boundaries of the genre and are really contemporary. Many great works in still life have emotion like these pieces from Susan Mauney.


Susan Mauney is a wonderful watercolor painter that was originally a therapist. She infuses her well executed still life pieces with tremendous emotion, and she has really broadened my mind when it comes to this genre.

“Reflections” by Susan Mauney is a triumph in watercolor technique.

Beautiful contemporary and well-executed still life by Susan Mauney--

A final example of Susan Mauney's work

I also really love Sheila Keefe Ortiz’s work in this arena; Sheila’s work is absent of details and instead depends on color to flesh out her subjects. Her still life work has great emotion as well:

“From a Dream” would be perfect in a bedroom and is far from stuffy!

"Birthday Surprise" is about a bouquet of flowers from the artist’s sons; lovely blue, pink, coral, and white flowers. So happy and grateful.

Amazing sunflowers that seem to float before a blue sky-the feeling here is wonder.

Sometimes a piece can conjure a story like this one from BF Reed-I can almost hear my Granny laugh under the pecan trees in her backyard while a hot breeze blows.

BF Reed’s “Strawberries and Stripes” is a sensory memory of long hot summer days and Sunday dinner at Grandma’s.

Textile Art

Textile art is an often misunderstood genre as well. It is unconventional perhaps to many, but you may be thinking of macrame from 70’s at your grandmother’s house. Let me expand.


Rachel Frey is a lovely artist that creates amazing contemporary felted wool pieces that can be abstract,  look like landscapes, or remind you of the ocean. They are beautiful and ethereal, and really dreamy. No macrame knot in sight.

I love this piece--it is beautiful and has great movement. Another plus? This could make a large room have less echo, or dampen the sound in an office.

This is one presentation of Rachel’s work that is framed-this is from a client’s home and so clean and contemporary.

Rachel makes functional items as well--coozies, coasters, and lampshades.

I also wanted to show some examples of painters that incorporate textiles in their work.


I do love pieces that are really textural, and textiles definitely accomplish that. So the medium textiles and the genre of still life are two artworks worth investigating, for so many reasons. Thanks for your interest, and until next time, buy some art for art’s sake!

Layered beautiful abstract from Katherine Wolf Webb that is acrylic and has textile mixed in with the work. The incorporation makes for a more interesting and textural composition.

Artist Fritzi Huber incorporates vintage saris in this handmade paper work.