Still Life Vase of Flowers (365 Days of ART: Day 10) local VA artist:John

Untitled by John A. L. (2010) Acrylic on Canvas This painting is a still life and I used it to show students many different styles.  When I was done, nobody wanted it.  I brought it to a small group and everyone signed the back as a “get well” gift to give to this guy.  Later, the recipient thought the guy named ‘John’ from our group was the one who painted it – who is a guy that would never paint something like this (not his style). It was a fun laugh, but either way, the person enjoyed the still life painting. It also can be used to shows students an example of contrast with color (red and green are complementary colors), value (light to dark), line use in the foliage, and use of highlights (to assess where the light source was coming from). Does it look like John should have added a table – or do you like the vase of flowers floating? John also did not complete the tan background, so maybe he ran out of time or gave up on this piece…


Quote for Wednesday:

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” ~Claude Monet




have a nice day!





21 thoughts on “Still Life Vase of Flowers (365 Days of ART: Day 10) local VA artist:John

    1. Well thanks for saying that – especially today because I was almost going to go “wordless wednesday” – and while I do have a handful of art pieces coming up that will go well with a silent post- I kind of felt the little story was needed With this one – 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think I will be able to manage steps 1 to 3 😀 Yes the first picture though quite nice does look as if it is hanging in the air – desperately needs some kind of support 😉

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  2. I always advise my students learning to see: the ability to draw is the ability to see and make your hand move. Although, we all believe, we are seeing everything, in fact, that is just a tiny fraction of what there is. Secondly, we have to learn from small kids: draw with courage without being afraid what the result is. Adults usually want the result become very good right away, so they don’t give themselves a chance to bring anything to completion. Drawing is a fantastic thing.

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    1. Thanks Inese! I really appreciate you taking the time to chime in! I was actually going to drop by and ask you if I could do a feature post on you later this year – not sure if you noticed – but I am doing a 365 art day challenge and I was hoping to do a feature post on about a dozen artist bloggers – I thought of you, miss G, jesh, leman, and have a few others in mind.
      And your comment here reminds me a lot of something Mona Brooks would say….


      1. yes… and for “drawing” – it also helps to get a good set of pencils (ranging from hard to soft) and then finding some activities to guide that practice can make the time spent more productive. For example, Mona Brooks has students look for shapes – like a ship would have a rectangular base to start with…. and with someone’s face – see if they are oval or more circle

        and she also has an upside down drawing activity – which I highly suggest for older minds – because by flipping the picture around – it forces one to see shapes and to sketch the image with less mental inference – I have done it with younger students and it did seem to help them develop the mind and hand coordination…
        also – for a still life, we started with contour lines – a loose outline of the subject and then sketched from there…


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      2. Such a great gift you have. Thank you for sharing insight into the art world. I like the remark “less mental interference” with regard to sketching images. You help break down the subject into it’s basic forms.

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  3. I didn’t get an email notification on this post ;-( I don’t know why!
    My initial thoughts of this piece were: “beautiful color combination”, “simple composition (of the vase and flowers), yet it works well”. There are different kinds of leaves and flowers in this painting, which, maybe, makes the painting more interesting.
    I don’t understand why the subject is a small part of a large canvas. My photographer mind thinks it needs cropping (maybe that’s what framing will do). I also couldn’t quite figure out the direction of the light.
    I am learning. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi H- thanks for the feedback –
      well I “think” the light is from the upper right – or center right (shadow on the vase left, but there are inconsistencies with the light on the foliage- and even that vase…)

      and the note about the “different kinds of leaves and flowers” “makes the painting more interesting” – I agree – and after you mentioned that, I went back and looked some more and now I see more.

      First, I think that John likely made this from a silk flower arrangement, or he did it from memory.

      Second, this painting reminded me of Henri Rousseau’s work –HERE– because of the way Rousseau used green – and also Rousseau painted in the “Naive-Primitive” style – he was a self-taught artist who never saw a jungle in his life – and so when he painted jungle scenes, they had trees and shrubs that would not be in the jungle… and then it also had a flat. At the time, other artists, including Picasso, made fun of Rousseau, because his work seemed “flat” and unskilled (actually it was in many ways because he overlapped without depth and all that).
      However, Rousseau trucked on and kept doing his art – (lesson here for all of us) and many believe Rousseau was oblivious to being teased – which actually helped him – he was “unaware that establishment artists considered him untutored” –
      and long story short – he kept working with “his technique” and eventually his artistic genius was recognized for the originality and dream like – even surreal- quality –

      and so after your comment, I looked closer at this still life and felt the flat foliage and the green and it just made think a little bit of Rousseau – hm

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      1. Good morning, Yvette.
        I did get this post in my inbox — one day later, it seems.
        So fun to read all the comments and your reply. I feel like to copy down what you wrote — see what I mean about making this an e-book (so I don’t have to copy 😉
        You were right about this is a little flat, not as flat as some of Rousseau’s though 😉 Thanks for introducing Rousseau to me. I have learned a long time ago that it is okay that I am not crazy about all artists’ works, as long as I enjoy seeing their works and have a great admiration of them (which I do).
        I am still thinking of those bold outline for leaves on the right side. I can’t say I like it, but I think it works. Hmm… I am thinking, but not sure what to think. 😉
        Have a great day.


      2. well thanks for thinking about with with the blog…. we can all learn more and more together – I am taking a break from my blog to get caught up on a few projects and will be back next week – but have the art posts scheduled… and there is no series theme right now, just changing it up as the mood hits. have a nice week ahead H….

        Liked by 1 person

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