Tanja Moderscheim

I celebrate fruits, vegetables, tableware and flowers in my still life oil paintings, which are produced in a classical style using classical painting technique.


My interest in detail and anatomy, further nurtured whilst studying and working in a science environment, directly influences my painting practice today. My choice of genre, still life, has strong parallels with the set-up of a scientific experiment where control of variables is important. I enjoy exploring, engaging with and 'getting to know' my subject matter, which starts long before I put brush to linen. I find this important in portraying, or recording, the 'soul' of the subject. Rather than to strive for hyperrealism, I interpret detail and anatomy in the context of mood/feel, light, dark and space. I use this to try and produce paintings that convey a meditative, quiet state.


Recording the subject additionally has a parallel to the renewed interest in scientific naturalism in 17th C Holland. As a Dutch expat abroad, this allows me to be in touch with my roots. This sense of heritage has subsequently led me to explore (Dutch) cultural heritage e.g., Delft blue ware, historical tulips as well as other forms of heritage, e.g., culinary heritage through working with artisan producers. I have recently added historical tableware (Roman pottery) to my subject matter.


Working with detail, light-dark and space, a sense of heritage, history and identity is a storyline which runs through my still life work.