Behold the Beauty: ‘The Way of All Things’

March 17, 2021 Updated: March 17, 2021

Each one of us is marvelously unique, but birth and death come to us all. Realist artist Steve Wineinger of Spokane, Washington, depicts this arc of life in his still-life painting “The Way of All Things.” 

In the painting, Wineinger starts the story on the right-hand side, just as the ancient Greek or Hebrew texts read from right to left, he says in an email. 

First, on the right side of the painting, a bird’s nest full of dainty blue eggs represents birth. Near the nest is an empty wineglass symbolizing the delights and tireless adventures of childhood and youth on the road to adulthood. “The race from birth to adulthood is only briefly interrupted by a carefree existence mostly consumed with the play of childhood,” Wineinger says. 

Steve Wineinger
A detail of “The Way of All Things,” 2008, by Steve Wineinger. Oil on canvas. (Steve Wineinger)

A riot of vibrant flowers, of many different colors and kinds, mimics the variety and splendor of a life lived well. Wineinger says that the flower arrangement represents a life full of the achievements of adulthood.  

“Once the activity of our most productive years slows down, we find ourselves in a more reflective time, looking back on our lives and family,” he says. Wineinger hopes, by that time, reflection will be done through wisdom-tinted spectacles. And he’s depicted this period of time as spectacles resting on a Bible. 

An unlit candle and an age-old faded tapestry mark the end of life. For Wineinger, the extinguishing of the flame of life represents the dimming of once brilliant achievements. “The accomplishments of even the most remarkable life are remembered by successive generations as a tapestry whose colors and sharpness fade with time.”

Wineinger ponders: “A fatalistic view, perhaps. But this is ‘The Way of All Things.’”

To find out more about Steve Wineinger’s art, he may be contacted at srwfineart@gmail.com