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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Painting inspiration-Abbott Fuller Graves photoshoot

I have always liked this painting of roses in a green bucket.
The artist is Abbott Fuller Graves, (American 1856-1936.) Perhaps it is his use of light and complementary colors that makes me like the piece. I am not as wild about the detailing of the roses, however, as they are more impressionistic in design. I prefer a bit more detailing of the individual rose breeds-a la Redoute or Fantin Latour. This work is serving as a still life painting set-up piece.
Using his painting as inspiration, I hunted down an antique wooden bucket:

It is missing its wooden handle, but is otherwise quite nice, with old green paint worn through.
Here is an example with a handle, which I could always paint into the scene

I gathered roses that had similar colors to the ones in the painting

I began to load my morning's rose cuttings into the bucket...but they suddenly dumped over due to their weight.

I had to resort to the Martha Stewart tape trick:

I don't know what Mr Graves used to keep his flowers in the bucket, but I doubt it was tape!
Here is the photo shoot. My format is more square and I was not able to get long enough rose cuttings to stretch the format wider.

Overall, a fun idea for using old ideas for new paintings. When trying to understand what makes for good paintings, it helps to study the works of other master painters.
A few more examples of his work:

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