Studio Practice – Task 1: Still Life Pt 3

My next step was to take a visit to the National Gallery to revisit some classic master paintings. I’ve already carried out research on the computer, but have spent enough time indoor recently & was gradually going stir crazy.

Very glad that I did as I found inspiration for both my still life & portrait tasks. Not only visually, but within the accompanying text to each painting.

For example, the text next to Van Gough’s classic flower images states the painter ‘associated the colour yellow with hope & friendship. He suggested that his four Sunflowers canvases express ‘an idea representing gratitude’.’

The text next to Van Gough’s Chair explains that what the painter meant by ‘this simple composition of everyday objects is to represent his direct and plain-speaking character.’

As I mooched round looking & reading, there was a bit of inspiration with regards to the classic portrait task I’m also working on. I was starting to get a bit frustrated, but then came across a treasure trove of images in Room 17a – Dutch Flower Painting.

I’d never really appreciated these before, thinking they were over-fussy & ‘twee’. Taking a very close look at these paintings enabled me to see the intricate details. They are exquisitely painted.

Tucked away, too, in the paintings are butterflies, caterpillars, flies, wasps, snails, shells & water drops. None of the text explanations covered the symbolism, they were more descriptive in content.

Not sure if I’d be able (or willing) to recreate these images in such fine detail, but they certainly pushed my thought processes further.

On the way out of the National Gallery, I visited the shop. Lots of tempting goodies on display, but then I came across this particular book:

I couldn’t purchase it at the time, but have ordered it today. Very detailed in its explanations. Looking forward to reading it further.

I’m also determined now to include butterflies in my final image. Whether I can get my hands on a real one to include remains to be seen.

Criteria Ref: P1 & P4.

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