Colour is an extravagance of the mind – Margaret Preston

I’ve been trying to work through my obsession with Australian painter Margaret Preston’s early still lives.

And I think I’ve found a pattern.

It’s the table-cloths.

| Margaret Preston, Holiday still life, 1913 |

Preston wrote: Decorative work – it is the only thing worth aiming for in this our century – it is really the keynote of everything. I am trying all I know to reduce my still-life to decorations and find it fearfully difficult.

The patterned fabric’s intersecting lines contrast with the gay flowers and sunny idyllic background space in this table for one painting.

What a colourist.

Julia Ritson

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