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Glass collection painted

March 24, 2012

Sarah's bottle collection,oil on canvas board

Inspired by friend sandi’s collection of glass bottles which I have been painting from photographs the last few months, I began browsing second-hand shops for my own bottles to paint.

They look lovely lined up in the sunny window sill in my studio. I tried photographing them because at this stage it is easier for me to work from photos, but my shots didn’t capture the incredibly beautiful transparent colors.

Enter Rende, the Real photographer, and voila.

photo by Rende Zoutewelle

Some of the bottles are from our kitchen, some from second hand shops. And the lovely amber bottle on the left (just a humble beer bottle) and the small flask with the black cap I found filled with dirt, buried in a field. They cleaned up nicely and are now two of my favorites.

Don’t you just love that jewel-like clear blue!

This was an interesting exercise for me because up until now I’ve not been inspired to paint any of my husband’s beautiful photos. My reasons being that he had already made all the aesthetic decisions and there wasn’t much for me, as a painter to add.

But in this case, it was my vision he photographed, and his expertise made it possible for me to then take it a step further as a painting.

I like the result, I’m still aiming for a less finished, more painterly look.  For me, the amber bottle at the far left comes the closest to that ideal.

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4 Responses to “Glass collection painted”


  1. I like the tall red one best.

  2. decorartuk Says:

    I was looking at WordPress topic “Art” and found a post with an image of painted bottles, I straight away thought – oh, someone else likes painting bottles, just like Sarah! But guess what – it was you 🙂

    So that’s where your paintings take you – they even inspire to collect your own bottles. The colours are very nice and I like the fact that this paiting is more blue, rather than green; it’s a great addition to the previous ones in the series.

    By the way, what’s the yellow line? Just a tape stuck to the window? It certainly adds a bit of complication as the bottles are see-through. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to try and paint see-through things… You do it brilliantly!

    • szoutewelle Says:

      hi, yes isn’t it strange, that this process opened up a side door to me collecting bottles to paint. I’d asked sandi to take some more photos of hers in different lights sometime, then suddenly, duh! ( light bulb goes off above head).Why not find my own bottles!

      That yellow line is a part of the yellowish blind behind the bottles (the brilliant sunshine coming in from behind bleaches out the color except for that strip). I’m not sure what it is for, but it is where the fabric is doubled over in the back. It forms a channel, perhaps for wood to go through to weight the blind toward the bottom.

      Thanks for the appreciation, when I decided to tackle sandi’s bottles, there is also a clear blue and black line showing through the glass. I think the blue is a towel or blanket against drafts, stuffed into a chink in the window. It felt complicated at first, but I loved the effect of this stream of blue getting bent different ways as it passed behind each bottle.

      I think we can paint anything by just looking at what is really there and faithfully recording it. So reflections aren’t harder than folds, and see-through things aren’t harder than flowers.


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