Still Life Painting Featuring my Grade School Lunch Box

still life paintingFor this still life painting  my old lunch box from grade school was called in for duty, thermos and all. It’s been sitting around all these years waiting for something to do besides hold old baseball cards. I had actually been thinking about this painting for a long time. While there is a  lot of baseball items in this painting, it’s not really about baseball…

Still Life Painting – Feed Your Dream

still life painting

“Feed the Dream” Craig Shillam, 16″ x 20″, oil/canvas,

While the props in this still life painting are all baseball oriented, as was my intent, there is a secondary thought behind this piece. Aside from the fun of painting all this stuff, I’m trying to get across the message of eating, breathing and smelling your dream. Whatever that dream may be.

At one point or another in all of our lives, we have dreams. All to often they get replaced by one thing or another. Some say the worst thing that could ever happen is to reach a goal or a dream, I’m not so sure about that, but I do know that if you really, really want something, you’ve got to go way above the wishing stage to get it.

Back to the still life painting. I would say the biggest challenge was painting  the “Big League Chew” pouch as well as all the lettering. The most fun parts were painting the plastic sandwich bag coming out of the lunch box and the baseball players. In a previous still life painting with a baseball theme, I stuck with more warm earthtones. This piece demanded brighter colors and I was happy to oblige.

Some Random Thoughts Regarding the Still Life Painting “Feed the Dream”

  • This painting was painted slightly bigger than the actual size of the objects in the painting. I chose to do this because I wanted to experiment with that very idea. I think actual size is better;  however I am going to do a still life painting that is twice the size of the object down the road a bit. I have a plan!  
  • Because of the “mechanical” nature of the lunchbox and thermos, I found myself fighting with all those hard edges. I would smear some of them out, only to sharpen them again. I finally decided to leave more sharp edges than soft, it just seemed better for this piece.
  • I thought it was interesting that after all the colors and values were layed in for the most part, I painted from right to left. This is how I used to hand paint signs back in the day because I am a lefty. I usually do not paint this way.
  • From the beginning I wanted the lunch box to be the focal point, and the top right corner to be the focal point of the focal point. Everything else came after I decide I wanted to paint that lunch box.
  • The baseball card in the foreground was given a looser treatment than most of the rest of the painting, and it is a 1971 Topps card featuring a play from the 1970 World Series.
  • While you may not be able to see it in the photo, the thermos cup cast a redish shdow on the bottom part of the lunch box in the lower right. That little bit of red looked so good when I painted it…I wanted to put more red there but it would have been too much. I’m glad I didn’t.
  • The lunch box has a date of 1969 and the thermos is in really good shape. I hunted all over to find that pouch of big league chew. The baseball is perfect; not too beat up and not too new.

 While I’m pretty sure there is not a huge market for a baseball still life painting, it is a painting that I really wanted to do. If you have read this far, than you know what I am talking about. Sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do.

still life painting

Other side of Lunch Box with Baseball Cards – CashArtBlog

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