DUTCH STILL LIFE ARTIST

Dutch still life paintings using classical technique by artist Tanja Möderscheim (London)

I celebrate fruits, vegetables, tableware and flowers in my still life oil paintings, which are produced in a classical style using classical technique. My paintings are set in the context of space and stillness in order to convey a meditative state: I’m trying to paint silence.

The close observation of detail and anatomy, further nurtured by my background in science, is a nod to the interest in taxonomy during the Dutch Golden Age.

Heritage is important to me, being a Dutch expat abroad. I explore various forms of heritage in my painting practice: in my ongoing project on Dutch cultural heritage for example,  I paint the Dutch passion for tulips through growing and painting (recording) historical tulips. I source these 16th to 19th century bulbs from the Hortus Bulborum gene bank in Holland. This has resulted in an annual series of tulip paintings. I’m also looking at culinary heritage: I work with artisan producers profiling their produce to show their passion in paint. In 2016 this resulted in a collaboration with the BBC Food and Farming Awards, and I’m currently working with BonFond.fr to profile French artisans.

Another project explores historical items from another bygone era: tableware from Roman times which feature in a series of large paintings on fine linen.

I exhibit regularly in between painting to commission. Key exhibitions include the Mall Galleries (RBA, SWA) and Affordable Art Fair (Otomys Gallery), London.

 

Inspiration

Dutch Masters active during the first half of the 17th-Century Golden Age, working in the “ontbijt” or “breakfast” genre: e.g., Pieter Claesz. (c. 1597 – 1660), Willem Claesz Heda (c. 1593– c. 1682), Jan Jansz Treck (c1606 – 1652), Osias Beert (1580-1623). Handling of light and a subdued palette. Painters of more recent times: Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Henri Fantin-Latour and Claudio Bravo. Flower painters I very much admire include Willem van Aelst.

Technique: traditional technique involving grounding, dead-colouring, working up and glazing. Paintings on fine-weave linen or wood.

Composition: expressing a sense of calm, stillness and atmosphere through the use of ample space, design, harmony and simple colour schemes.

Studio view by Tanja Moderscheim

Bringing still life into J.M.W Turner’s House in Twickenham before the renovation (October 2015)