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This week’s featured painter is Michael Naples, an artist from Wheaton, Illinois who has been daily painting since 2006.

Michael paints in both large and small formats, although most of his works are smaller and therefore more easily collectable (one of the hallmarks of daily painters in general).

The two things that immediately set Michael’s work apart from other daily painters—for me, anyway—are his consistent use of vibrant colors and his wonderful compositions. A few of his pieces also make use of unique perspectives, which I quite enjoy as well.

Take a look at Apple with Blue Bowl, below, and you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

AppleWithBlueBowl HR

I absolutely love the colors in this piece. The orange is almost too overpowering, but with such a clean, cold blue to counteract it, this painting simply sings.

Slight touches of green at the top of the apple, and those brilliant white reflections in the plate are just enough to make us feel the full range of the color spectrum.

Now this next painting, entitled 2 O’Clock Coffee, is more than just a still life—it’s really an entire story set around a time and a place.

2 O'Clock Coffee HR

There are several beautiful light and dark contrasts within the piece, but the one I want to point out especially is between the white and black mug.

It may be something of a stretch, and yet given the title of this painting, that sharp black/white contrast immediately indicated to me that this “2 o’clock coffee” meeting is between a man and a woman.

The closeness of the mugs and the way that everything else within the painting is grouped so tightly together supports that theory, I think, and lends a wonderful air of intimacy to the piece.

And last but not least, take a look at the unique viewing angle in this next painting.

Bartlett HR

Michael’s colors are, once again, extraordinary, but it’s the way he’s painted perspective that makes this painting sing.

SEE MORE: Small still life paintings for sale at NUMA Gallery

Look closely and notice how his brush strokes carve out the shape of the pear. . . they circle around the circumference of the pear, appearing to angle and turn in exactly the same directions the pear’s skin would in real life.

I’m not sure if I can explain it any other way than that—but anyone looking at this painting will recognize, instinctively, that this pear is three dimensional. . . not just from the way the light hits it, or the foreshortened perspective, but because each stroke of paint actually helps sculpt the physical contours of the pear.

If you’d like to see more of Michael Naples’ daily paintings, please visit his online gallery at www.mnaples.com or check out his daily painting blog for more recent work. Both are chock-full of excellent paintings, so I know you won’t be disappointed.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Today's featured artist is Jennifer McChristian, a Californian oil painter who paints primarily en plein air, or from outdoor sketches finished later in her studio. After looking through Jennifer's plein air painting blog, her work was so consistently gorgeous that I just had to share a few. . . read more

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