Still life/ Nature morte

IMG_4961We had another Art group meeting today with Claire. The subject matter was a still life of onions and garlic in a crystal bowl (I added mushrooms) . My initial reaction was recoil, reluctance, requiring a gentle push to get into it.

La nature morte n’est rarement un sujet que je choisi d’interpréter. Pour compliquer la matière aujourd’hui on avait un bol de cristal à rendre luisant. Parfois la seule option est de se lancer dedans! La meilleure consigne était de tourner l’image modèle à l’envers—après, tout devient une étude de formes non-significatives.

Complexity is minimized when context is removed. To approach the image, Claire suggested turning all upside down. It streamlined the task into one of form reproduction. How easy it became to paint shapes instead of trying to create onions and crystal!

Après avoir complété une aquarelle, j’ai décédé de faire un deuxième utilisant les techniques enseignés mais avec des formes neuves et des couleurs un peu différentes.

Still life is a contradiction. The challenge is to capture the immobile ‘stillness’ and yet have the life sparkling. There need not be any death in the painting. Yet in the very title in French, it is death that jumps out. Such an odd expression. No wonder I generally shy away from it!

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