Artistic Lines from Joan Justis July 2013 Using Vermeer’s Techniques

Artistic Lines
from Joan Justis
July 2013

Johannes Vermeer (d.1675) is a great teacher 300 years after leaving his legacy of small exquisite paintings. His expert use of perspective allows us to enter intimate spaces to view moments in the life of 17th century Dutch men and women. Studying and analyzing his composition techniques provide insight for the visual artist. Nearly all of his paintings have an object at the bottom of the painting causing me to feel that I am not a part of the event portrayed, but that I am allowed the privilege of peering in to the private moment. public domain johannes vermeer

I painted a picture of a home that intrigues me. I was happy with the play of sunlight and shadow in my portrayal of this beautiful edifice. I enjoyed the sense of being sucked into the painting to explore all of the features of the gardens and architecture. Along the lawn was a fence with a long garden following the fence. As I painted this, I wrestled with the vertical fence line on the edge of the canvas. The perspective was right, but the viewpoint was uninteresting. I have been dissatisfied with it for several months. But then I had an aha! moment. Vermeer! I took down my book and study notes. The garden needed to make me feel that it was a privilege to have an intimate view of this beautiful home. I repainted the garden in the perspective style of Vermeer. The real garden was full of various yellow flowers. I chose to paint the snap dragons, delphinium, and daisies that were in my garden. The painting was so much more interesting and it had an implicit invitation to enter and look.
The Family Home oil 18″ x 24″
©2013 Copyright Joan Justis
All rights reserved.

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