On the Easel


This frigid January day finds me working on a number of pieces. I’m rotating them out to let the paint dry and to keep myself engaged. Doing this also gives me time to mentally work through any problems that I run into as I’m painting.

The detail of the ship is for an art festival I’ll be participating in. It’s in Albuquerque in March and I’ll be bringing this and a van load of other paintings to sell, many of which haven’t been completed (or started) yet. I’m having fun with these feathers. I think I’m going to carve up that wood, too.


These last two details are from a pair of constellations I’m working on for my church, and they’re supposed to convey the main themes of the book of Mark. I’m still not sure whether they’re going to work or not, but I think I’m getting close.

My idea is to illustrate the difference between the Messiah the Jews expected and the Messiah that actually came, highlighting those differences through use of imagery and color and line. I used the same star field for both of these paintings, but the oak and the acorn use different stars to make up their constellations – the larger, brighter stars make up the oak, and the smaller, less significant stars make up the acorn. As I said, a work in progress.




On a side note, after I worked up the tree I decided I like painting constellations and so I’m going to do a quick series of them. Not real constellations, of course. Fake ones.

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Stories have kindled Jamin Still’s imagination since he was small. As a child he drew and painted and dreamed, and the power of those things in his life never diminished. He went on to study painting in college and now he paints and writes for a living. Jamin works and lives in a little stone house with his wife and three young children in Wichita, Kansas.

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  1. Matthew Benefiel

    As far as Albuquerque is concerned I recommend chicken and waffles (and a dark porter on draft) at Nexus Brewery, all fantastic. I’d also recommend the north road up into the Sandia Mountains (which apparently is Spanish for watermelon) but looking at the charts there is most likely snow and may be closed, being a dirt road and all. Some of the best far away views of the Sandias is in Rio Rancho area, there is a little 9 hole disc golf course and park I wasted some time at that had a great view.

  2. Megan

    Your work is beautiful! I love those two constellation paintings! The imagery works perfectly. I hope you do continue painting constellations, they’re gorgeous.

  3. Aden S

    That peacock ship is so cool! Seeing more constellations like those would be sweet. Sadly, the skies don’t look like that on clear nights… 🙁 It’d be amazing if they did, though!

    Blessings on your upcoming work for the festival! Everything is splendid!

  4. Laure Hittle

    Wow. The very idea of a series of constellations excited me when you posted the first one on Facebook, and then i couldn’t figure out what you were up to when you posted the acorn. They were so different. But this is amazing. Hearing the story behind the series and realizing that you used the same star field for both—fireworks are going off in my head. i think i maybe know where you’re going with this, and i cannot wait to see it.

    A tree, monochrome and easy to spot in the sky. An acorn, bright-coloured and harder to make out. What a metaphor. And the fact that i preferred the tree when i first saw them both tells me that you are nailing this series.

    And i love that your church is commissioning art.

  5. Matthew Benefiel

    The peacock boat is interesting and the detail is fun, but when I think of a peacock I think of that huge, proud tail. I wonder what would happen if you did a picture with some over exaggeration, maybe have the tail be the sails and have them be large and out of proportion with the boat. I know peacocks cannot fly very far, but a picture of a couple boats would be fun, one with the sail/tail unfurled and the other with the men lowering the tail/sail and unfurling the wings for a flight (like a flying fish).

  6. Hetty

    Just yesterday I was working on a story set on a far-off planet and I was describing a few of the constellations there. I thought that there should be one called “The Great Tree” and tried to describe it. Then today I saw your post and that you have found it already! You found my tree constellation and now I know what it looks like.

  7. Alyssa K.

    Three words. Utterly Blown Away! The concepts for these pieces are inspiring. I love your idea of using constellations to illustrate the truths of the Messiah, it is pure artistry. Oh, and the peacock ship is amazing too!

  8. Jamin Still

    Thanks, everyone! Glad these are engaging and it’s good to know the constellation paintings seem to communicate in the way I want them to. I’m working on framing them today and I get to talk about them at church just over a week from now.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Karen Buck

    Jamin, my daughter and I have loved your work since we first saw your prints at Hutchmoot. We bought the peacock ship for an early birthday present for her, and she put a tiny print in her dollhouse bedroom. So wonderful.

  10. Kathleen Mahoney

    ohhh, how pretty Jamin! I love the deep colors, they make me feel peaceful all inside 🙂

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