Life Stills

Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.

— Lord Chesterfield

Originally, “slow food” founder Carlo Petrini didn’t mean to start a global movement 3o years ago. He merely wanted Europeans to preserve local cuisines.

But Petrini’s “Slow Food Manifesto” spoke to Epicureans everywhere. “Against the universal madness of the fast life,” he wrote, “we need to choose the defense of tranquil material pleasure.

“Against those—and there are many of them—who confuse efficiency with frenzy, we propose the vaccine of a sufficient portion of assured sensual pleasure, to be practiced in slow and prolonged enjoyment.”

That same sentiment informs my still lifes—or, better, “life stills.”

Jug and Friends. Oil on canvas board. 8 x 10 inches.

Manet once called the still life (from the Dutch word stilleven) the “touchstone of painting.”

Characterized by a focus on the insentient, still-life painting is known in France as nature morte.

But I’m a little less morbid than the tradition and, borrowing from photography, prefer to call my paintings “life stills.”

In opposition to those who relish hurry and who “confuse efficiency with frenzy,” I propose my life stills as a vaccine—a jab against the fast life, a prescription for leisure and tranquility.

My life stills ask you to stop and smell the peanut butter.

That’s my manifesto.

Who knows? Savoring may save you.

Above: PB&J. Oil on canvas board. 10 x 8 inches. Ships framed and ready to hang.