the real and the fake

the real and the fake bigger (2)

My still life table and its environment:

  • artificial flowers
  • real flowers
  • drawing of a vase that’s decorated with flowers
  • printed flower (on the bag — that’s a bag from Pret a Manger, hanging at far right top– actually the bag is extra interesting because it depicts a sunflower made from vegetables arranged in a tableau)
  • flowers printed on fabric
  • parts of my paintings that have flowers in them
  • detail of Degas’s painting at the Met on the computer monitor

At’s a lot of flowers!  Don’t you think?!


getting ready for flowers


Kuschan flowers 1 oil on paper

Since the Bazille show is at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I’m getting ready to study several of the beautiful flower paintings featured in the exhibit.  It’s great good fortune for me that these works are visiting now because doing large flower compositions has been one of my ambitions for a long time.  I knew of the early Impressionist flower compositions from books but I haven’t been able to see any of the actual paintings until now.

Above is a flower painting I did many years ago.  And below is Bazille’s grande machine of flowers currently in the exhibit.



And here they are side by side (magic of the internet):

Early Still Life

While staying at my parents’ house, I found this still life I painted ages ago.  I was just starting out painting in earnest back when this was made.  It was one of my first elaborate compositions, one having more than just a couple objects in it.  Looking at this really brings back some memories (one of the great advantages of making pictures).

The cloth that the objects rest on was really thick.  I can almost feel its texture just looking at this.  All the things belong to my mother, and thus the picture reminds me so much of her and her garden.  Back at that time, I often set up still lifes of flowers that I picked from my parents’ yard.  It was such an immediate kind of painting.  Just walk outside, find some flowers that looked pretty, put them in a vase, start painting.  The translation from life to art was brief.

This painting is a bit rough around the edges.  I didn’t know how to see tones as well as I do now.  But it has an airy feeling, especially around the flowers, that seems true.  The oranges and apple pave a little path right into the picture.  I think that’s kind of cute.  You see, after many years, I look at this as though somebody else painted it!

[Top of the post:  Still life of daffodils, by Aletha Kuschan, oil on panel]