(3) Portfolio of prints (work in progress)
(5) My Janus file: Some impressions of
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf

Sunday, January 3, 2010


These collected apothecary jars remind me of the work of Georgio Morandi (1890-1964), the Italian minimalist, whose paintings were seen last year, in October, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Morandi concentrated on Still Lifes and Landscapes, though the exhibit was heavily weighted towards his depiction, over and over again, of a banal collection of bottles and vases.   Chosen for their simplicity of form, he increasingly focused on subtle graduations of hue and tone, repositioning the same group. He did this for most of his reclusive life.   Often it was difficult to tell the shape of the bottle as it became a part of the background, or a part of its neighbor.

Although my studio set-ups are inspired by Morandi's set-ups, I could not follow his ruthless preference for stripping the jars to a state of flatness and dullness, destroying reflections and attractive  characteristics that, as far as he was concerned, interrupted his quest for minimal abstraction!

Thus, I began minimally, using the digital tools at hand, manipulating the shapes of a few photographed jars.  Gradually, I found the desire to add, not reduce, the character of shadow and light.  Yes, I too could spend a life-time organizing and reorganizing the jars to reveal new and subtle variations!


Probably, by the end of my life, I could LET GO of the razzle-dazzle that crept back into my Still Lifes and declare myself ready to go the way of Morandi, whose style was said to have been established by the time he was thirty!  LOL!  (And Hiroshige, I believe, in his 90s, declared he had just begun to know how to draw)

Georgio Morandi

P.S.  Two kindly followers have commented in their posts today that may be of interest to the curious.

1)  The first is from my long time friend, Rinklyrimes, in her pithy post entitled:  One Thing Leads to Another, and
2)  Geraldgee, who has posted a delightful slide show - an overview of Morandi's work, just 2.39 minutes long.

Many thanks to you both for opening up the discussion in such an interesting way!

For more MONOCHROME WEEKLY do visit Aileni's theme HERE


  1. Interesting post, Margaret. Have you thought of trying a low key approach with light edges against darkness.

  2. Amusing comparisons! As my art professors always said, it's not the shape of the thing, but the shapes around it...
    Three Rivers Daily Photo

  3. Your work is like our ideas as they morph and reveal each other to us. And the ideas never slow (I hope).

  4. Eye-opening bottles or jars, in different shapes and sizes, you love white and black, right?

    The spring is in the air, what lovely flower buds you share, here.
    Happy 2010.
    Smart post.

  5. Lovely, thought-provoking post. I love your photos, and variations on the theme. Like you, I could spend a day rearranging bottles and playing with the light.

    Thanks for stopping by at mine, and for your kind comment.

  6. Intersting post - I need to try shoot a few pics with bottles too!!! thanks for popping by my blog!
    Gena @ thinking aloud



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