I've always thought there was something alluring about still lives. It always perplexed exactly why that is, because well, still lives are just paintings of objects. How can something be exciting about objects that are not so exciting? Why can I sit in front of a Peter Claesz still life and be completely inspired? Well, for one thing, it's that in most still lives, objects are not on their own - they are put in context with other subjects, weaving a story line together, making you ask questions, letting your imagination take you somewhere. For another thing, its the light. The light brings in the emotion, the drama, and seduces you into the painting. They are no longer mere objects, but more like lead performers on stage.
On a less art historical side, I'm also interested in still lives because for me, they are nonthreatening to paint. Unlike like the detail-obsessed 17th century Dutch still lives in the photos, my simple and painterly version of still lives can be done in a single sitting where I can focus on practicing brush strokes and how studying how light hits an object. It's meditative and enjoyable.