Sally Tharp: Larger-than-life Still Life Paintings in Oil

By admin in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

This week’s featured artist is Sally Tharp, a self-taught painter from Ohio.

If you visit her blog (which I hope you will) one of the first things you’ll notice is that although many of her older paintings conform to the traditional size for daily paintings, lately she’s taken a turn towards much larger works.

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That fact, more than anything else, is the reason why I wanted to feature her work today. Perhaps it’s just me, but I find that the most limiting factor of the daily painting genre is the small size of every painting.

Breakin Out by Sally Tharp

The piece above, entitled Breakin’ Out, is one of her smaller works, and is certainly quite good. I love the colors she’s used and I enjoy the enforced looseness of working small—but the trade-off is that it’s always difficult to capture a lot of the finer details.

Sally’s larger paintings are the complete opposite. She still paints a lot of small, everyday objects, of course. . . just on a much grander scale than normal.

This depiction of a widemouth mason jar (which was used by her son as an impromptu cereal bowl) is a perfect example of the kind of detail you can achieve in a painting that’s 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall.

Widemouth by Sally Tharp

The first thing I noticed when I looked at this larger-than-life painting was that beautiful, memorable typography on the walls of the jar.

Have you ever really studied the text on a mason jar? I don’t know that I have, but I know that I’ve felt it. . . and as I look at this painting now, I can absolutely feel it again.

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Sally captured the thickness of the jar; the distortion of the glass; and the rounded, raised letters perfectly. The story behind the painting—illustrated only by the spoon and leftover cereal stuck to the sides of the jar—is simply a fantastic bonus.

His and Hers is another one of Sally’s larger works, and possibly my favorite.

His and Hers by Sally Tharp

I really like the texture of the robes against the wall, and the way that the morning light is streaming in, outlining every fold of fabric.

I can also tell that it’s one of those simple ideas for a painting which actually required a lot of effort and work to complete. . . and for some reason, that always makes me appreciate a painting even more.

If you’d like to see more of Sally Tharp’s work, please visit her painting blog and spend some time looking around—I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did.

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