Some readers have told me that they’d like to know more about the creative process behind my floral vignettes, so today I’m sharing a behind the scenes of how I create a still life.
I believe that creativity starts from within. For me, it’s about slowing down, tuning in, and clearing the outside “noise” to hear my own voice…it’s about listening, staying open, and allowing each vignette to grow organically, transforming one moment in time to tell a story. I start with an idea, an intention, and then lose myself in the process…
It’s often a particular flower, or object, that captures my attention and starts me on the journey. In this case, it’s a gorgeous peach rose, sweetly scented and in full bloom. This particular rose makes me think of an English summer, of soft, hazy colours and sweet scents, straw hats, lush gardens, insects buzzing, and a soothing breeze…
So let’s get started…I pick one of my painted backdrops, some elderflower heads and leaves, and a couple of twisted willow twigs.
I’ve already cut most of the rose stem, and placed the head in a small bowl filled with water so that the rose stays fresh and lovely. I add one willow twig
one more twig
some of the elderflowers
and some lady’s mantle (alchemilla mollis)
some more elderflower heads
and then I look at the composition, and I think that the alchemilla doesn’t really belong…and that there are too many elderflowers…so I take them away, and tuck the twigs closer to the rose
I like using the square format for my images, so I reframe the still life accordingly
Yes, I like it…I could stop here I suppose, but I want to add something in the top right corner, to balance the composition. I reach for some small wooden bowls and an old letter
It doesn’t feel right…so I take the letter away and add some more elder leaves instead
Not bad, but I’m still not happy…what about one more rose?
not there, definitely not…perhaps on top of the wooden bowls?
too symmetrical, not right yet…I take away the rose and the bowls, and pair the elder leaves with some elderflowers
almost there! Just a little nudge to the elderflowers…and it’s time to stop :)
What do you think? Did you enjoy seeing this still life in the making? How does the final image make you feel? I’d love to know…