Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Garage sale

Back in the seventies still life painting was a minority sport and usually dominated by the art societies. This bad rep did not deter Philip Clairmont who obsessively painted and repainted the objects in the rooms he lived in. Looking through some 1970s photos, we found this image of a Phil Clairmont still life set-up that was taken in the small garage Phil used as a studio when he was living in Waikanae. 

Although he painted many of his larger works in the living room of that house, in the garage he had arranged a small table surrounded by the mirrors he often used to add complexity and diversion to his compositions. On that table Phil would place a vase of flowers, a glove, the housing of an old clock or other items that became his familiar subjects. We thought of this photograph when we saw an image of Still life with jug and paintbrushes. Our photograph was taken early in 1977 just before Phil, Vicki and their daughter Melissa moved to a larger house in Wellington’s Roy Street.
Images: Left photo taken in Philip Clairmont’s garage studio in Waikane. Right Still life with jug and paintbrushes, Philip Clairmont, 1977 (Fletcher Trust collection)