Gouache on Watercolour Paper - 8" x 7.5"
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Last night I was desperate for a reference to work from to continue my weekly experiments and I couldn't find anything inspiring from my recent photographs. I always keep my camera with me wherever I go and lately I have been taking really weak photographs, so I searched my Picasa files for a reference and found a Henri Fantin-Latour flower painting. Nobody can paint flowers like Fantin-Latour and I don't know what came over me but I thought I would try and copy this work. I feel most of the time this genre can go no further and no additional flower paintings are necessary, but I became totally absorbed with the technical challenges and forgot about any latent snobbery I have towards realism. Obviously I couldn't pick up many of the nuances in his work because I was working in gouache, but I adored the murky effects of the stems and foliage in the glass vase and I think this work of mine has turned out quite well. One thing I have noticed is that I haven't quite captured the elegant spaces between the flowers in the original work as mine are a bit too squashed together. It has been a revelation to observe how he captured flowers, a subject I have never had any ambition to paint, but even doing this small "Experiment" has taught me something important about placement of objects in space. I could add a few more brushstrokes here and there to lift it up a little, but I am leaving it in case I go too far and end up with mud.