The Chinese Vase Artwork by Sarah Vernon

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Art Description

New Media: Digital on Other.

I’ve been nosing around the autochrome photographs on Wikimedia again and on this occasion I turned up the slightly-dull-but-full-of-possibility ‘Still Life with Ornate Chinese Vase’ by Frederick S Dellenbaugh, an American photographer. There’s no date attached to the image (it’s part of the Google Art Project) but autochromes were patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903 and marketed in 1907; it was the only colour process until superseded by colour film in the 1930s.

Although I haven’t added any painterly textures, the result of adding a texture from Kerstin Frank and another from 2 Lil’ Owls has made it look like a still life painting where the detail is immense, so great that you’re not sure whether it might not be a photograph.

People often ask if my work is really ‘accidental’ but I can assure you it is. I didn’t start The Chinese Vase off with the idea of a ’painted’ still life. As ever, I experimented with various textures and modes (‘overlay’, ‘burn’ and so forth) until an effect grabbed my aesthetic eye.

I would never have imagined the two textures above would have brought out the colour of the flowers and the brush strokes of the vase in the way they have nor, indeed, made the background recede to black as it has. It’s all very satisfying.


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The Chinese Vase

Sarah Vernon

New Media

Size: 14.3 W x 20 H x 0 in

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