3 Artists that Inspire Me the Most

Today I’m sharing with you my top three historical artists that both inform and inspire my own still life painting. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned from each artist.  Here we go!

Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin 

Chardin was an 18th-century French artist known for his still-life paintings. He was very influential and successful during his time even though still life painting wasn’t highly regarded. 

A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a floral still life painting of flowers, lemons, and fruit by Kelli Folsom.

One of my very first copies was of a Chardin painting. I fell in love with one thick bravura brushstroke on the painting “Still Life with Fowl” and knew I had a lot to learn from him. I fell in love with the way he could take simple things and make a rich and atmospheric painting from them. The most important thing that I’ve learned from Chardin’s work is how to create a  good composition with still life.  I learned to use the thirds of the canvas, light my still life, and to use a variety of darks, dulls, color, and neutral lights for balance in a painting. 

Frans Mortelmans 

When I first discovered Mortelmans back in 2014 I felt like I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! A 19th-20th Century Belgian painter he painted still life works and was especially a master at roses. His work still can get me so excited to get back to the easel and paint. His color and paint are so luscious and rich. His light beams off the canvas and his choice of subjects are so varied, abundant, and orgasmic. He’s known for his roses, but he painted any still life subject with the same aliveness and beauty as his roses. 

The main thing I’ve learned from him is to paint with that love and energetic enthusiasm. I’ve also gained a deeper understanding of color composition with still lifes from studying his paintings.

Soren Emil Carlsen

Carlsen was from Denmark but lived and worked most of his life in America. you could call Carlsen the Beethoven of still life. He came up with the most unique arrangements, some of which I can’t understand why they’re so beautiful. I’ve learned so much from him about composition, textures, and how to bring visual interest into a background. One of the primary things that inspire me about Carlsen is he was never boxed into one type of still life. He painted it all! High key, low key, lots of colors, no color, lush and abundant, stark and empty, bold and loud, soft and quiet, kitchen themes to the oriental, the odd to the straightforward. Even with many changes, you can still tell that the same person painted them. This is a rare quality these days to see an artist not get stuck in one look and one I aspire to. 

I hope you enjoy discovering these artists too! See if you can spot each of their influences in my work.

P.S. I have a very special Early Bird Black Friday Sale starting this Friday! Are you on my Collector’s Circle list? If you love my work and want extra discounts and perks on top of the sale then you’re going to want to sign up. It’s free. Go here to join: http://eepurl.com/dpg-_9

Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin: https://www.theartstory.org/artist/chardin-jean-baptiste-simeon/artworks/

Frans Mortelmans: http://www.artnet.com/artists/frans-mortelmans/

Soren Emil Carlsen: http://emilcarlsen.org/

A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a floral still life painting of pink roses and a green pear by Kelli Folsom.
A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a floral still life of fall mums in a green ginger jar.

Love in Light, Kelli

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