Thursday, 1 July 2010

Digitally re:masterpieces

Ok, let's go back a while.

A long, long time ago (about four months), the brilliant Tara came up with the Gallery.  Every week she racks her brains for an idea, a prompt, a theme and she posts it on her blog, and we, the punters, go off and take pictures, or dig out pictures, and post them on our blogs.

Now, precisely one month ago,  she said Still Life.  And I posted this:

which was based on this:

And lots of people seemed to love it.  So much so that the wonderful Iota Manhattan suggested I do more of them, a little series of reworked masterpieces.   And I thought about it, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.

You see, once upon a time, I used to work with amazing paintings. Not often, but occasionally.  And occasionally I was instrumental in making sure that the same amazing paintings got to stay in this country.  And I would go, every now and then, to our national collections and look at these paintings, and think "I made two phone calls in a year's worth of work that my boss did that means I can stand and look at that painting now, for free".  And I don't do that any more. And a part of me misses it.

So, here's the idea.  Once a month I'm going to set myself a painting, or a sculpture, and I'm going to remaster it for the modern age. And then I'm going to post it on here, and see what you think.  The only limitation?  The original must be in the UK, in a public collection. So if we want to go and see what it really looks like, undigitised, and un-remastered, we can.  I'm hoping that some of you might suggest some (leave me a comment, you know I love that!), but failing that I'll pick one myself.

I thought I'd start with another still life, just because the props are easier to find (we'll move on to portraits of Popes later, shall we?), so ladies and gentlemen, I give you, hot from the National Gallery:

Still Life with Lemons and Oranges (1760s), by Luis Melendez


re-imagined, for 2010, as Still Life, without Melon by me.

And as a sneak preview, I'm thinking Sunflowers for next month, because it'll be August, and the girls have just planted some, and because I think it'll be trickier than it sounds...Oh, and if anyone wants to join in, just say, and I'll try and work out how to stick a McLinky on...

Next day.... due to popular request, Linky below.  Join in!


  1. How did I miss your still life the first time round? It's fantastic.
    This one is just right; the ball is perfect.
    Will watch how this goes. I suspect, like The Gallery, we will all be wanting to give it a shot. Before long I'll be photographing tweaked nipples (ah , no, it's in the Louvre...)

  2. Excellent - I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  3. I think this is a fab idea, I will waslk you through the linky if you like. Sunflowers sounds cool to me

  4. That must be so hard to do.

  5. A fantstic idea, will be looking forward to following this xxx

  6. I loved the idea the first time you did it and looking forward to seeing more. A McLinky would be great too :D Jen

  7. Woohoo! I worked it out! Linky now attached! Thanks Mad Mummy for the offer, but I worked it out, amazingly! (must be pretty simple!)

    Thank you all for enthusiasm. I'd love to see what you come up with, and promise to visit every one. Will post a post about Sunflowers in due course.

    Oh, and Trish - if you want to photograph tweaked nipples (whatever they are?!), please don't let me stop you...

  8. Well, I'm not blogging at the moment, so I can't imagine how I read this post.

    I think this will be a superb series. I love your take on the still life, and thanks for the 'without melon' hint - otherwise I might have missed it.

    I used to work at the National Gallery. I still miss it.

  9. Here's a suggestion:

  10. I really like this idea - might take me some time though! :)

  11. oh this is wonderful! What a fabulous idea.

  12. Plan B, you are amazing, you seem to have done all these interesting things!

    Love this idea, makes me chuckle.

    ps, re a previous post, I understand the liberation from 6 minute units! Although, as mum I've realised you get used to life being broken down into units of time and working out what you can get done in each free "unit", however small.

  13. Iota - you were simply doing research for CyberMummy, clearly! Hope you had a great day. I like the suggestion too - could be quite exciting! B's up for Dejeuner sur l'Herbe too, but I pointed out that was in France...

    Mrs W - take all the time you need !

    Heather - thank you! Join in! Would love to see what you come up with.

    Motherhood and Anarchy - I think a few pictures doesn't quite match up to what you've been up to, but thank you anyway. As for the "units", at least with children no one gives you a bonus, or otherwise, based on how many you've done!

  14. Ooh really excited we can all have a go.

    Here is the link to the picture of the nipple tweaking - not sure I fancy setting this one up when sober haha!'Estr%C3%A9es_et_une_de_ses_soeurs

  15. Have done it....check the linky! V excited!

  16. I'm off to have a think about this. Unfortunately I have a holiday coming up so it might take me a few weeks to get to it, hop eit's not time bound....ha, did I just really get so buzzed by the idea that I said "UNFORTUNATELY I have a holiday c..." :0)

  17. I'm mentioning it on Twitter to get some interest. I wonder whether you should do a new post so everyone on your reader knows you now have a linky - I only spotted the extra bit to your original post by accident so others may have missed it?
    It's such a good idea - The Dotterel thinks you should have a badge and everything!!

  18. So glad I've found your blog! Made my way via Mums gone to...! Love the idea of the digital still life & think yours a really amazing!

  19. Really good - very clever. Will have to rack my brains. I asked The Tate to put an image on my blog once (nothing to do with this) and they refused but I presume it's okay to put a link to the original picture as well as your own version of it? Anyone know? Great idea.

  20. I love this! As I read I thought maybe I could do sunflowers and then you said it! Any excuse to get hubby to buy me flowers...

  21. Golly! So excited you all like it. Will do another post as Trish suggests.... although the badge is well beyond me - if the Dotterel wants to create something though he can have a bit virtual kiss from me!

    Kellogsville - take as long as you like - I think the linky is up until the end of the month, and then there'll be a new one anyway! Enjoy the holiday anyway!

    JFB - don't actually think this one is that great - but glad you like the idea. For which Iota really should take the credit!

    Deer Baby - interesting point. I was working on the basis that the artists are all dead and have been for significantly more than seventy years so the works themselves are all out of copyright. You're right though (she dredges up the small bit of copyright law she did at law school about a million years ago) there will be copyright in the photographs. On a practical level though, given that I'm crediting where they're from and making no profit out of them (and causing no loss to the galleries) I can't seem them kicking up a fuss. Will ask a media law friend though and if there is an issue get back to you. Will make sure though that everyone knows to use only very dead artists!

    Mummy V - do sunflowers! Go on! In fact my original idea was that we could/would all do the same one because I thought it would be fun to see how others interpret the same thing, but basically the more the merrier!

  22. did you know this still plagues me! Every time I wander around an art gallery I have this in mind. And everytime someone annoys me I imagine them centre stage in the Execution of Jane Grey! I will will do a corker on this one day!


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...