the art of the mundane

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations, fine art, still life, visual thinking, words and pictures

I’ve been reading a lot of novels by Donna Leon lately. Her Commissario Brunetti series. My wife and I had watched many of the movie versions, I got hooked and sought out the novels. As a result I’ve realized how often the detective mystery is solved by something mundane, trivial and even disposable. The clue that resolves the crime may be found in the wilted flowers in the office, the food take-out container, the receipt in a wallet – or something else really mundane.  In Leon’s work the city, the food, the objects are characters in their own right. They certainly add to my perception of her protagonist Guido Brunetti and his cases.

These thoughts led me to thinking about how historians and archeologists both spelunk in the log-books, the diaries and the trash heaps of history to find the clues about life in the past.

And then there’s the concepts of wabi-sabi and hygge…

Amongst all these thoughts I had my cat’s exhibit open at Burnt Bridge Cellars. One of the benefits of doing one-person shows is that I get to see a years worth of my own work all at one time. As I looked around I realized that I’ve focused on creating my characters; the eyes, the fur, their animal-body-shape in people clothing and not as much on the stuff, the objects, they hold.

So I want to see if I can tell a visual story with “just stuff”. A still life basically. But I still hope to tell or imply a visual story. By doing this I’ll be practicing depicting the details of drinks, food and physical objects better so they can become “characters” in their own right. Kind of like what Leon does in her novels. Then eventually I hope to put my object-characters together with my animals…

Anyway, here’s me working on one:




8 thoughts on “the art of the mundane

  1. I love this idea! I look forward to seeing what you do with it. I often think that life is really found in all those little details. As a family historian, I often think about the objects and books and things I own that carry with them the history of those who gave them to me and which objects from my life would tell the authentic narrative of me. I own the British Library book telling the history of the world in 100 objects which is obviously taking that same sort of idea and magnifying it.

    1. OMG!!! I’d love to know the title of the British Library book you mentioned!!! Do tell please!!! And yes, I think too about the various objects and books I own that have my own history and meaning attached… I’ve begun to put some of them in my artwork. Our lives really are reflected in our “stuff”. Thank you for understanding what I’m aiming for… I look forward to sharing more with you! And please – do tell me the title of that book!!! I’ll hunt the globe for a copy…. 😉

        1. I’ve got the MacGregor title coming from my local library now! So excited!!! Thanks again!

            1. Lol!! Yep I’m like a kid in a candy store – I can’t wait to read it!!!

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!