Still Life

Middletown artist Chil Mott lives and breathes his craft

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“My nephew was applying to art schools and needed to build up his portfolio,” remembers Middletown resident Chil Mott of this monochromatic sketch. “I set up a still life with some warty gourds we had grown in the garden and sat with him as we drew. I remembered learning about lights and darks on black paper and thought it would be a good exercise for him.”

Art has always been at the center of Chil’s life. He grew up loving the illustrations in Mad magazine and the paintings at the Worcester Art Museum. He majored in history but minored in studio art. He’s been a professional graphic designer, illustrator, and painter for over 25 years, and worked for everything from skateboard companies and surf shops to colleges and child advocacy groups. He’s a full-time art director and designer at Greenwood Associates Design, alongside his partner Gail Greenwood (of Belly band fame).

“Inspiration comes from everywhere at all times,” Chil shares. “I think about artistic problems and solutions from the time I get up to when it gives me insomnia at night.”

This sketch of a wart-covered pumpkin is just one small scratch on the surface of Chil’s portfolio, which includes paintings, sketches, and bold illustrations in both color and black-and-white. His latest venture, which he’s most excited about, is a series of realistic renderings of insects in oils.

As for the result of Chil’s art lesson with his nephew? “I’m proud to say that he was accepted to every school at which he applied.”