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Modern Compositions: Art by Michael Mahoney

A still life painting of some bright objectsStill Life, Divertimento II, oil on canvas mounted on wood panel

Artist Michael Mahoney works in oil paint and pastel, creating subdued still-life images of modern compositions and subjects. Michael spent years as a painting instructor and art educator before taking the leap into a full-time personal practice.

A still life pastel drawing of some milk bottlesStill Life with Milk Bottles, pastel on paper

I enjoy the soft, blended approach that Michael takes with his imagery. Though the objects and textures that he chooses to paint vary widely, the artist manages to create very cohesive compositions and series of paintings by applying a gentle, soft blended technique. In many cases I find that Michael’s color palette is also ever-so-slightly muted, giving each work a slightly nostalgic feeling, as though one is looking at a weathered photograph.

A screen capture of Michael Mahoney's art


The objects pictured in Michael’s newer still-life works are charming and playful. Musical instruments, children’s toys, and modern, plastic items of all varieties play a large role in the imagery. Arranged in classical, vanitas-style tabletop collections, the items express a tension between a time-honored painting style, and the objects of a contemporary world.

A still life painting of a vase and hornsStill Life with a Vase and Horns, pastel on paper mounted on board

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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