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Nature Morte No.1
Mackenzie Gregson

Nature Morte No.1



Title: Nature Morte No.1
Year: 2022
Size: 80 X 60
Technique: Oil on Canvas

Still lifes are works for me in which I can take a breath. While I put a lot of thought and time into creating still life pieces I see them more as a way to focus on the beauty of everyday items. There is no longer the pressure of capturing the essence of one person or the layers that go along with that. A still life to me is more of a simple yet refreshing view of life. A still life (also known by its French title, nature morte) painting is a piece that features an arrangement of inanimate objects as its subject. Usually, these items are set on a table and often include organic objects like fruit and flowers and household items like glassware and textiles. The magic of still life paintings is that they can show us a new way of looking at the ordinary objects around us. Once they are placed into a specific arrangement and then captured in paint they seem to be imbued with a life beyond the ordinary.
I often use still life as a more direct link to art history and the artists and time periods I admire. I will often take bits and pieces from still lifes that were created by different artists and put them together to create a new and interesting composition. I often look to artists from the Dutch Golden Age who are renowned for their still life interpretations and amazing flower arrangements. I also enjoy looking at the French impressionists and post-impressionists who have their own more modern views on representing these objects. Modern in the sense of selected objects being represented coming from the late 19th century. Modern can also be used to describe the way in which those artists stylistically paint, with loose vivid strokes of paint. They aimed to create the overall impression of an object while the Dutch from the 17th century captured it realistically and in clarity. By contrasting these two methods of still life painting I can have a more rounded view of techniques of representation.
In my painting “Nature Morte no.1” I took inspiration from a French work for the bottom of the composition and combined it with the bouquet inspired by a Dutch work from the 17th century. I then painted the composition in my own style and vision for the whole piece to come together and remain unified. I sought to capture the beauty of the flowers which are traditionally beautiful along with the harder bumpy spewing melon which is beautiful in its own way. These objects I feel actually compliment one another quite beautifully and gives a contrast for both textures and colours.

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