Wow.......do I have a new respect for the still life (and also for the color and shapes of peppers)! It's not that I didn't before but I was always drawn to other subjects more. After a successful show last fall and most of the studio renovation complete, I decided that it was time for a period of self-education without worrying about the pressure of producing paintings to frame/sell. I really think that I have to do that every once in a while. My mission is to really learn how to see and mix brighter, natural colors than I have been doing. I must say, I have noticed my limitations of mixing accurate reds in many of my other paintings so I decided to begin with red and orange objects. I also wish to be able to scale down the size of my pictures if I wish...........small canvases have always made me feel trapped or cramped somehow, another limitation. So, I bought the "still life stage" which was mentioned in Carol Marine's book and is sold by Connie Nobbe (you'll have to google it) - it is very affordable, goes together easily and I LOVE it! It has really helped me control the light on the objects I arrange and has helped me "frame" the subject better so I can scale the size down. So, while it has been almost as cold down here in the deep south as it has been up north, I plan on doing some brightly colored little things and learning a ton from doing it.