View Full Version : Vanity

03-07-2015, 02:12 PM
This painting has been ongoing for awhile. It's themed around the idea of vanity - our perceptions of beauty and the inevitability of aging. I began thinking about this around the time that Joan Rivers lost her life as a result of further cosmetic surgery. I hope it doesn't come off as a bleak, dark painting (well actually, dark is okay). There's humour in there too, and irony. I did pose a challenge for myself with all that gilt and crystal work - frustrating at times, but enjoyable. Lots of glazing layers till I got the feel I was going for. It's quite large, 40x30 inches.
C&c welcome.


Charlie's Mum
03-07-2015, 03:06 PM
You do come up with some intriguing ideas!
It's very well executed (of course!) but the composition of your SL is good and interesting - never boring!
Some exquisite additions and rendering of such. I thought at first the skull might be a bit macabre but now I see it as a touch of humour and definitely a good illustration of vanity!:lol:

Didn't realise Joan Rivers 's death was a result of more cosmetic surgery ...... so .. because of vanity eh?

03-07-2015, 03:23 PM
Great! and well done!

03-07-2015, 11:21 PM
Thanks for your comment Maureen. I especially appreciate the reference to composition. It usually takes me a long time to settle on a pleasing setup. I take lots of photos of many variations until I feel that twinge of excitement, then I know I'm ready to start. Glad you don't find the skull macabre - I kinda hoped the sunglasses would lighten the mood! 😉 For some reason the colours of the image after posting seem quite muted compared to the original.

03-07-2015, 11:22 PM
Thanks for your comment Eric!

03-08-2015, 06:28 AM
Very impressive.. both the idea and the execution. Thanks for sharing your work. I usually thought it difficult to tell something in a still-life painting, but this is definitely .. thought provoking!


03-08-2015, 06:56 AM
She's laughing in the face of death - I think this is the best still life I've seen, it speaks volumes

Charlie's Mum
03-08-2015, 07:19 AM
^^^ that's a lovely compliment for you Coralie!:)

03-08-2015, 10:56 AM
Probably one of my favorites! I love all the symbolism (including the time on the clock). The detail in this is remarkable. I am particularly drawn to the lace on the handkerchief and the slight ripples on the inside of the shoes strap. I could go on..... Beautiful!

03-08-2015, 11:59 AM
Love this! Your skill is awsome. The refections on the table are extremely well done. And the symbol of the dead rose is perfect. Such imagination. Hopefully, you will post more of your work. This is thoughtful and so very well executed!

03-08-2015, 12:16 PM
Excellent work! Very symbolic, but also, I just enjoy seeing all the pretty things. I see a lot of effort went into this.

03-08-2015, 12:18 PM
Stunning piece of work and composition

03-08-2015, 02:21 PM
This is absolutely gorgeous. It pulls me in and invites me to explore and then do some thinking about how vain we humans can be.

03-08-2015, 03:21 PM
Hi Sara, the narrative aspect of my paintings is very important to me, no matter what the genre, so I am very pleased that you could find the "story" in this piece. Thanks so much for your comment!

Laf.art, thank you!!! That is a great compliment. I'm especially pleased that it came from you, an abstract artist. My community is rich in artists, many of whom are abstract painters. That is great, but there is also an undercurrent of conversation that is placing a negative spin on realism. It irks just a little, but I am so happy to know that there are abstract painters out there who still see the virtue in realism. Made my day!:thumbsup:

Gayle, thank you! I love that you've picked up on the symbolism and that the painting was able to hold your attention for a little while.

Enelram, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. The reflections were the last element that I added but they really brought the scene to life (can you say that about a still life? ;) )

Lavenderfrost, thank you! I love shiny, sparkly things too - although I did curse my decision a few times when trying to render them!

Tripod, thanks so much for your generous words!

Wassie, thanks for your comment. I'm so glad you find it thought provoking.

03-09-2015, 12:42 AM
Coralie this is a really interesting and well executed piece of art. I like the use of the round shapes in the composition contrasted with the rectangles. Definitely keeps the eye moving about. The frayed fabric is a nice touch, and of course as others have remarked the skull with the glasses is what puts a real stamp of originality on the whole thing.

PS-- the fabric draped in the background makes me think of a stage curtain, and that makes me think of Shakespeare's line All the world's a stage and we are merely players... and that draws me back to the theme of the passing of time.

03-09-2015, 02:51 PM
I absolutely love your still lifes Coralie. So much detail in all your subjects and so beautifully painted....wonderfully done!

03-09-2015, 03:33 PM
Enjoyable tale on vanity and the skull is a macabre, but humorous addition.

Just as an aside, Rivers was undergoing an endoscopy for possible stomach reflux at the time of her death according to the news reports I recall.

03-09-2015, 03:53 PM
Love your careful attention to detail and your wonderful ideas and setups.
Just a terrific painting.

03-09-2015, 10:07 PM
Wow! I love this. Very powerful.

03-09-2015, 11:45 PM
Hi Colin, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I particularly like your interpretation of the background drapery!
Lilbelle, thank you! I am a big fan of your work so your comment means a lot!
Jon, thank you for your comment. Glad you found the humour in this rather dark subject matter! And thanks for clarifying that info about Rivers. The painting isn't meant to be about her but it was her passing that got me thinking about this concept.
Derek, thanks so much. I really appreciate your comment.
And TBuneaux, thanks! I can't ask for more than that!

03-10-2015, 08:26 AM
That's interesting and thought provoking, and very well done.

03-10-2015, 09:09 AM
Wow! What else can be said? Excellent painting.

03-10-2015, 11:17 AM
A great story, Coralie. The inclusion of a skull in still life paintings stretches back into the 15th century. Van Leyden, Hans Holbein, Cezanne, Picasso, and many others have incorporated skulls in their paintings. My personal preference re: the skull would have been to leave the glasses off. Why? to accentuate the folly of vanity.