Monday, May 28, 2012

Vanitas

So this is the last still-life I painted, finished about a month and a half ago.  This painting was particularly fun because for the first time in a long while I focused not so much on the alla prima style I've been honing for some time, but a detailed drawing followed by layers of opaque paint and glazes.  Some areas have more painterly application since I can't escape it, but it was really great playing with glazes again as it has been quite a few years since I've dabbled with the technique.  A lot of the warm and cool relationships were achieved by multiple layers of subtle glazes.  Anywho, this is a "Vanitas" painting, a popular style amongst the Dutch painters who liked to explore the brevity and fragility of life.  Skulls, books, shells, flowers, bubbles, and other things were common objects represented by the vanitas painters.  The philosophy of is not at all in line with what I like to paint but it was a great excuse to paint a skull :)

Fun story:  I started the painting before I went to Paris in early April.  The flower was alive and well before I left and already painted.  When I returned a week later the flower had shriveled and petals fallen as I knew it would, hence why it was the first thing I painted.  But it looked so much more interesting that I repainted everything to include it's current state