Carolyn Finnell: Freshly Painted Fruits and Veggies

Published on Aug. 5th 2009

Fruits and vegetables are always good to eat, but Louisiana artist Carolyn Finnell makes them delicious to look at as well.

Carolyn studied fine art in college, or as she puts it, “a long time ago” and only started painting seriously again in 2007. She concentrates mainly on portraits and still lifes, and while her portraits are lovely, I was drawn to the latter, with their bold colors and brush strokes.

Her oil paintings are in some ways traditional (and she works in a New Orleans auction house, so she sees traditional paintings at her office every day) yet the way that she adds life by capturing light, adding texture and setting up her compositions also makes them very contemporary.

Knowing that Carolyn works with antiques made me wonder if she found these unique teal-colored cups and candlesticks among the many treasures that have passed through that auction house.

Tea Party

I love how the delicately-placed pears inside each cup gives a fresh twist to a typical tea party painting. Their glow is amazing, and Carolyn has captured the light impeccably, giving a radiance to both the smooth pears and the glossy porcelain.

Her color choices are fantastic too—putting green pears and teal china on a neutral purple background really makes them pop forward.

Of course, you’ll quickly notice that Carolyn has a wonderfully unique brush-stroke technique—the way she uses her wide brushes to create square brushstrokes lends an angular feel to all of her subjects.

Green Peppers

Each of Carolyn’s paintings are also meticulously composed, often with subjects cropped halfway off the canvas or placed to give focus to a specific element.

Though she states that the painting below was a challenge, I especially love the cropped composition, as well as the details, color choices, and enlarged view.


To see more of Carolyn’s oil paintings, I invite you to visit, or just take a few minutes to explore her “almost daily” painting blog.

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