Tablescapes

At the end of our emails, my friend Craig and I sometimes
sign off with a list of the things that happen to be laid out on our desks at the moment. We call these ‘tablescapes’ or ‘desk still-lifes’ and they give us each an incidental picture of where the other is, what they are reading, or what they just ate. I began to photograph and paint these tablescapes when I realized I navigated my week and work based on the topography of my desk or tabletop.

Leanne Shapton

  • Pitcher from antique store
  • in Lewes
  • Pear
  • Two pencils
  • Watercolor palette
  • Box of watercolor brushes
  • Vintage bikini
  • Cup of coffee
  • Plum
  • Paper napkin
  • Three jars of ink
  • Two sketchbooks
  • Plastic cup of water
  • Plastic bottle of water
  • Ashtray from Forte dei Marmi
  • An unwrapped chocolate
  • Small china plate
  • Two mugs of tea
    (one warm, one cold)
  • Bag of shelled pistachios
  • Shoebox of photocopies
  • Letter envelopes 
  • Bottle of cologne
  • Seven postcards 
  • Week-old newspaper
  • Sketchbook
  • Ten jars of ink
  • Ten sample pots of house paint
  • Small vase of roses
  • Book on trees
  • Two books on swimming
  • Three paintbrushes
  • Paper towel
  • Set of watercolors
  • Scented candle
  • Tube of moisturizer
  • Packet of sleeping pills
  • Bag of granola
  • Fried plantain bananas
  • Paper towel
  • Two napkins
  • Two placemats
  • Toronto Star mug
  • Bowl of peanuts
  • Bowl of clementine oranges
  • Black wire box
  • Bowl of Italian candies from Marylebone cheese shop
  • Pad of paper
  • Bookmark
  • Alice Munro book
  • Alan Sillitoe book
  • Eadweard Muybridge book
  • Sketchbook
  • Deck of cards
  • Book of Irish ghost stories
  • Reference book of wildflowers
  • Reference book of weeds
  • Small catalog of paintings and sculptures
  • Two bottles of nail polish
  • Box of matches
  • Anselm Kiefer book
  • Phone charger
  • Cosmetics case
  • A to Z
  • Foil-wrapped tamarind date cake
  • Diary
  • Glasses case
  • Empty water bottle
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Hotel room key
  • Desk lamp
  • Tampon
  • Haruki Murakami book
  • Cell phone
  • Scotch Tape
  • Eraser
  • Four pink ranunculus
  • Sketchbook
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Twenty jars of ink
  • Two CDs
  • One paperback
  • X-Acto knife
  • Yellow ranunculus
  • Bowl of almonds
  • Book of paint samples
  • Sketchbook
  • Three books of matches
  • Salinger book
  • Seth book
  • David Hockney book
  • Paul Nash book
  • Pair of dice
  • Zeit magazine
  • Iris Murdoch book
  • Reference book of trees
  • Four rocks found in Prouts Neck, Maine 
  • Battery-powered reading lamp
  • Tooth floss
  • Pencil
  • Hair elastics
  • Glass of wine
  • Glass of water
  • Knitted mince pie
  • Bottle of Aspirin
  • Bowl of almonds
  • Vase of flowers
  • Matches
  • Thackeray book
  • Thomas Struth book
  • Pauline Kael book
  • Ian Fleming book
  • Vase of hydrangeas
  • Bowl with one orange and two lemons
  • Flashlight
  • Egg cup
  • Dishtowel
  • Bananagrams
  • Tea cosy
  • Chewing gum
  • Jar of apricot jam