On the fleeting nature of crockery

Good word ‘crockery’; it sounds exactly like the thing it denotes.

Instead of watching Farmer wants a wife on television, I made this copy of a still life by Felix Valloton. I learned a lot from doing it. I also decided that if I ever need to be reminded of the fragility of life, I just need to paint a picture of a piece of fine china. I am so easily distracted when washing dishes and – because distracted – clumsy, that no piece of crockery lasts long in our house.

No skulls needed when I paint a vanitas still life. A coffee cup will do.

Still life with chilli oil, coffee pot, sugar bowl, ivy, mustard pot and orchid

I would like to say I carefully planned the composition for this still life. I really would. But it would be a lie. It started as a simple painting of a bottle of chllli oil: I liked the colour. It looked lonely, so I added the coffee pot. Then it looked unbalanced, so I added the ivy. Then it lacked something in the foreground, so I added the mustard pot. Then it needed something shiny to balance the coffee pot, so I inserted a sugar bowl. Finally, why not just chuck in orchid?

Everything but the kitchen sink. Now there is an idea …

Toy boat

It has sat on a bookshelf for some years, is coated in a fine velvety coat of dust, and has never sailed anywhere.