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Simple subjects

A strong focal point, lots of contrast, reflections and a piece of succulent-looking fruit add drama to Becky Way's still-life paintings.

The Oklahoma artist has a knack for arranging and depicting ordinary objects in an interesting way.

"I like still lifes because there's no bugs involved, the weather's always good and the light never changes," she says.

Way has been painting seriously since 1978 and teaching workshops throughout the Midwest. Her studio is above a hangar at Sundance Airpark in Oklahoma City, where she and her husband house their small aerobatic plane. Flying and painting are her favorite pastimes.

Way paints still lifes most of the time but also enjoys composing portraits and country landscapes, specifically flat plains, which she says conjure up images of her childhood spent on a farm in western Oklahoma.

Way generally is considered an impressionist as she is preoccupied with light and reflection, practices loose — almost abstract — brush strokes and prefers everyday subject matter.

Objects typically found in her still lifes include unembellished vases, wine bottles, pitchers, vintage Fiesta ware and copper houseware, which either have sentimental value or are part of a personal collection. The selling point for an object is its reflective quality, she says.

Pears, clementines and grapes often are the color components in her work, as well as the reflective surfaces.

With oils or highly pigmented pastels, Way can create an abundance of color with very little medium. She is especially fond of red and turquoise, which she often contrasts with shades of gray to create a striking impression.

Way has been showing at Adelante! Gallery & Tea House in Ashland for two years. Several of her works are on display there.

To view more of her work, see www.adelantegalleryteahouse.com or www.beckyway.com.

In 2008, “Pastel Journal” magazine awarded Becky Way the “Creative Spark” award for her pastel painting, 'Two of a Kind.'