Recently I posted the first of my two Assessment Pieces which was of natural items. I’ve finally done my second piece which is of man-made items.
According to that font of unpeer reviewed information that is Wikipedia, a vanitas is “a type of symbolic work of art especially associated with still life painting in Flanders and the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries … and were meant to remind viewers of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death.
“Common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death; rotten fruit, which symbolizes decay; bubbles, which symbolize the brevity of life and suddenness of death; smoke, watches, and hourglasses, which symbolize the brevity of life; and musical instruments, which symbolize brevity and the ephemeral nature of life.”
I felt that there were a number of items which reflect the transience of modern life and so I’ve drawn a can of coke, a pizza box and a crisp packet, all empty, a couple of celeb mags and my old mobile phone. All the items, except the phone are found objects which had been discarded. Since I’ve just upgraded even the phone will probably be put in a drawer and forgotten about!
I didn’t plan it, but most of the colours were similar which helped harmonise the piece. As I’d used my fine liner pens on my natural still life, I tried using a metal nibbed dipping pen. Part way through I managed to throw indian ink all over the work. I reverted to the fine liner pens for the second attempt! The washes are yellow ochre and cadmium red, shaded with indian ink where appropriate.
I’m generally happy with the work but constructive comments and criticism would be appreciated. (I’ve done a pale grey wash over the large white areas of my natural still life on the suggestion of a couple of people.)