Lisa Milroy

Lisa Milroy was born in 1959, in Vancouver. Milroy is a Canadian artist well known for her still life paintings of everyday objects placed in various lines and patterns. Milroy’s work spans decades from the 1980’s to present day, comprising of a wide range of works including paintings, prints, drawing and animation. For the purpose of this blog post, I will be looking more closely at her paintings of collections.

Shoes, 1987
oil on canvas
80 x 112 in

Above is one of Milroy’s earlier works from the 1980’s depicting a collection of shoes. I attempted a response to Milroy’s painted collection by grouping, photographing and then painting my own collection of shoes. I decided to use some brown paper packaging which was actually used to package a new pair of shoes I recently purchased and received by post. The brown surface reflects the background colour of the carpet, and I used acrylic to paint the shoes.

Another one of Milroy’s collection includes her painting of plates, below is one of Milroy’s smaller groupings, completed in the 1990s.

Untitled (Plates), 1992
Oil on Canvas
76.2 x 101.6 cm. (30 x 40 in.)

I responded by again photographing my own small collection of plates, and on this occasion decided to use acrylic paint on watercolour paper.

I found the whole process quite challenging, especially to get the shadowing right, as well as include the very fine details in some of the plates. For the ivory/gold plates I did not copy the detailing exactly, but created a pattern remnant of the original. Whilst painting the black and white plate I had to abandon my paintbrush all together in order to imitate the line patterns of the bowl as I didn’t have a paintbrush thin enough, the fine tip pen however worked really well. I’m least pleased with the red polka dot bowl as the polka dots are not round/oval shaped as photographed, I found it extremely difficult to get this right, and went over with both white and red paint to try and tidy up my attempt. I do struggle to work in fine detail though so this was good practice.

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