Inspired by the Dutch Masters

watercolor still life painting
“Silver, Cherries, Pears, and Magnolia” (28×20) by Laurin McCracken

I have always been attracted to the still life paintings of the Dutch and Flemish artists of the 15th and 16th centuries. While there are quite a few master painters who came out of that era, such as Davidz DeHeem, Pieter Claesz, and Clara Pieters, the one who has influenced me the most is Willem Kalf. His compositions are dramatic and complex. His use of light is superb, and his handling of details is masterful. Whenever I need a boost of the creative spirit, I pull out the books I have collected of the paintings of this period and just walk through the pages and remind myself of the genius of those painters.

“Still Life with Silver Ewer” (c. 1656, oil on canvas, 29 x 65 in.) by Willem Kalf


“Still Life With Lobster” (oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 40 in.) by Jan Davidsz. De Heem
“Still Life With a Roemer, a Crab and a Peeled Lemon” (1643, oil on panel) by Pieter Claesz
“Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels” (c 1615, oil on panel, 13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in.) by Clara Peeters

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