I’ve just watched this programme from the bbc. It’s on the history of Western still life. If you are reading this is early jan 2014 I urge you to go over and catch at least some of it (it has a 90mins run time).
Or at least check out Xenia murals from Ancient Rome and cotan a Spanish painter with a very different practice from the northern tradition that’s much more familiar. The story of still life is taken all the way up to the present day with photography and film, so there is lots to explore.
I got some new brushes over the holidays so I’ve been putting them through their paces, and filling pages with mark making. This programme has inspired me to turn the daubs into some flower pictures. I can’t imagine that they will be anything like the 17th century ones.
Still life painting is all about looking. You can get as allegorical as you like with your subject as you go, but ultimately it’s the thing ness of things that is the heart of the matter. That’s so easy to overlook these days. Never mind.