For this years Pick Me Up Fair I was asked by Nelly Duff to produce a print on the theme of Flowers. I thought this was quite fitting as their Gallery is housed on Colombia Road, which has the famous flower market on the Sunday.
I had already been working on a pair of prints inspired by the popular Blue & White Ware of Chinese porcelain.
Around a similar time, I had also been researching into the various processes that the Dutch masters used to play with the light and intensity of their paintings. I was particularly looking at the various compositions of the Flower still life’s and all the different styles that each artist portrayed the topic through generations and particularly the work of Jan Brueghel and Ambrosius Bosschaert II.
This Blue & White vase series continues from my research and study of various opulent Birds and my love of oriental patterns, which has stuck with me since my Uni days.
I had bought a bag of offcut Japanese vintage Kimono remnants from a lady who used to have a stall on the Portobello market over 10 years ago. I always used to stop at her stall and gaze at the mish mash of patterns and colours that used to clash but at the same time work surprising well together. This concept had always stuck in my head and I should have thrown this bag of raggedy bits of fabric out many moves ago but there they were, buried somewhere in the studio just waiting for me to use.
Long story short, I started to draw the patterns from the bits of fabric, juxtaposing them with other bits of pattern and photographs I had taken at the Victoria and Albert Museums vast range of Blue & White ware.
For the more ambitious Dutch-Esq flower still life design, once again, the base of the work began with lots of photographs from various vases in various museums. Lots of photos from odd bit of flowers although some were quite difficult to get hold of as there were particular flowers that no longer grew.
I have never really been a “flower” sort of gal, but it was amazing to research all the different meanings behind the flowers that were painted like the Forget Me Not’s and the Parrot Tulips, which were one of my favorites.
On reflection, these 3 editions were one of the most enjoyable for me to do and I think they really pushed my skills and my design ability. I loved producing autographic positives again instead of getting them printed out of a digital printer. I loved playing about with tone, painting with a brush and bringing all the skills that I have learned previously into play.
These prints may be less commercial than my usual Neon Graphic style but I believe, they may be one of my best work so far and the direction which I want to peruse and develop my work in.
Lidded Vase, Vase without a Lid (Victoria & Albert) and Life:Still are exclusively available from Nelly Duff Gallery.