Unlocking Margaret's House Still Life Challenge No 10: Chinese screen and yellow room

Yellow room with Chinese screen by Margaret Olley (1)

This painting (above) formed the inspiration for the penultimate Still Life Challenge with margaret Olley produced back in 2020-2021 by the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.

The painting Yellow room with Chinese screen (1996) showcases the favourite room of Margaret's and the beautiful black and gold screen used in so many of Olley’s paintings.2

Featuring the small, unassuming room on the ground floor of her Duxford Street home studio in Sydney – Olley described it as her favourite room in the house, her sanctuary – she painted still lifes and interiors in here for decades. By re-arranging posters, furniture, textiles and objects and capturing them in morning, afternoon and evening light, she made this room a ‘subject of endless possibilities’.2

The black and gold screen in the painting forms a decorative backdrop to a still life arrangement on a marble topped table. The still life is nestled within a composition bursting with pattern and colour and texture. And although no actual figures are depicted, everything is suggestive of life; of a story within a story - the figure in the poster, the view to the next room, the empty chair, the open drawer. Even the objects on the table turn to each other as though they are actors on a stage.2

For this challenge we have focussed on Olley’s beautiful arrangement of objects in front of the of the black and gold screen. The green jar, the fluted tea cup and jugs, and delicate handles on the marble topped table add colour, pattern and warmth. We have so enjoyed re-creating this scene for you, and whether you paint, draw, photograph or sculpt, we can’t wait to see what you do!2

Here is your inspirational video.

And for those of you who have plunged in and are working on producing your own still Life creation - follow this link to today's Activity Sheet.

Late Mail

A very warm welcome to K.C. in Australia who has joined our online community where we share our love of all things art.

I am still in the UK soaking up the summer sun and heat and will not be returning to Australia until early September. The main art communication I will be posting about over the next month or so is to introduce you to British artist Jyll Bradley and her art oeuvre - in the main her installation works which aim to make connections between environments, people and their cultures.

I have also seen Monet in the Morning on my early morning walks around Regents Park and gathered images of one of my favourite art subjects - roof tops - for a later post. I have also promised a glorious German Shepherd I am sharing life with at the moment that she can have her own post to showcase her latest glossy images taken by a wild life photographer!

Back home Andrew the Collector is preparing information for us to work on a post dedicated to the restoration of a new Hugh Schulz painting purchase which Andrew is very excited about. The restorer has kindly agreed to provide detailed information which will help us gain a greater knowledge of this fascinating trade.

If you are not familiar with the artist Hugh Schulz or Andrew's dedication to his art please check out our TagCloud link to Naive and Folk Art.

1. ehive.com