12 January 2011

Inspiration for My Wedding, Portrait and Fashion Photography in Liverpool: Jack Vettriano

In the second of my series on the work that inspires my wedding, portrait and fashion photography in Liverpool, let's look at the artist Jack Vettriano.  I love his work, the way he uses light, the styling of the set where he creates the image, the colours (which are apparently achieved by the way that he paints all his canvases orange before he begins work).  Vettriano is a self taught artist, and meets with disdain from some in the art world, however he has had a powerful impact on the public - many people know his work "The Singing Butler" with the couple dancing on the beach, a butler holding an umbrella over their heads as they waltz.

It's hard to pick out one particular image of Vettriano's that has inspired me most as I love so much of it.  But one that perhaps explains a style and approach that I love to create in my own work is Days of Wine and Roses where a girl sits at a table, a glass of red in front her, a cigarette in her hand, and her face half hidden by the brim of her hat.  I love the questions that Vettriano leaves unanswered in the painting - who is she sitting with (the hint is there in the half drunk glass of wine opposite her and the serviette slung lazily across the arm of the chair), why have they met, what is she thinking, why does she look pre-occupied in her thoughts.  

In the spirit of protecting copyright, here is the link to the painting, Days of Wine and Roses by Jack Vettriano, rather than copying it into my own post.

Other paintings that he has created take us straight into another era, but all have a connection through the questions they leave the viewer asking as they observe the unfolding story.  Another painting I adore is The Temptress, where we see only the legs, feet and hand of a woman, glasses discarded on the table, a clear attitude in her pose.  Vettriano creates a story through objects, the position of the people within the painting and in relation to one another.  It is clear that he puts a great deal of thought into the execution of each set before he paints the subject.  In my own photography I look for things that need to be included in the image, or expressions that need to be exchanged in order to tell the on-looker the story unfolding within the image.

More to come in the weeks ahead on what inspires my photography - if you haven't heard of the paintings that I use to demonstrate my inspiration I hope you will follow the links and can enjoy the works that mean so much to me.

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