Poppies
By Jeanette Lassen

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Year
1985
Media
Watercolour
Subject Matter
Still Life and Flowers
Reg. Number
L231
Size
84 x 95.5 cm

The flat planes of bright colour and highly stylised forms in Poppies are typical of Jeanette’s decorative style and illustrate her fascination with design. The oversized poppies roam the space available to them within the flat picture frame; the large bulbous flower heads weighing down most of the stems towards a purple and white patterned tablecloth. Behind the white jug of poppies lies the rich yellow of a windowsill and gentle swooping curves of a white netted curtain. A blue curtain of velvet-like fabric then surrounds the scene to create an exciting, highly constructed still life.

It is perhaps surprising to learn that Jeanette used watercolours to mould this clearly defined still life. Indeed, when looking at the piece close up, the viewer is more inclined to believe that the crisp painterly marks and spaces were formed with oil paints.

Lassen’s work is inspired by a fascination with design, textiles and colour as well as traditional Polish arts and crafts. She is therefore often noted for her exquisite application of design and colour complimented by subject matter with extravagant opulence, optimism and humour. In Poppies, she takes an everyday homely scene and imbues it with many of these inspirations; the viewer finds pattern, bright colour and opulence.

Jeanette Lassen studied at the Putney School of Art in London before spending some time at Edinburgh College of Art as a mature student. She is noted for her exquisite taste and application of design and colour complimented by subject matter with extravagant opulence, invariably tinged with optimism and seldom without humour. In 1990 she took part in an exhibition of Scottish painters in Tokyo. She exhibited widely throughout Scotland and England: The City Art Gallery (London), The Kingfisher Gallery (Edinburgh) and The Castle Gate Gallery (Cockermouth) to name a few. Before her death in 2008, Lassen was also commissioned to produce paintings for The Bank of Scotland, Sainsbury’s Head Office and for the P&O Shipping Company liner Aurora, leaving a strong body of work behind her.

With thanks to Joanna Cole for information about this artist.

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