Paintbox Trompe-l'œil

trompe l'oeil

trɒmp ˈlɔɪ,French tʀɔ̃p lœj
visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object.
"look at the pillars and arches around the immense dome—they are trompe l'œil"
a painting or design intended to create a visual illusion.

This piece was never entered into the 2005 National trust Motttisfont Abbey trompe l’oiel competition because it was incomplete at the time, taking longer to complete than originally anticipated.


The tubes of paint are in fact modelled on just a single tube which has become stuck shut and so can be twisted into random shapes, a model for used tubes of paint.


The box is based loosely on the pencil box my ex-husband made me and an imaginary layout of a paint box.  Perhaps the hardest part for me was not the technical perfection required to pull off a successful trompe l’oiel but the actual ‘dirtying up’ of the image to add more realism!


The original idea of mounting on 1.5 inch polystyrene to add to the effect was not was successful as I wanted it to be, so in October 2007 I repainted the box sides not as originally a flat pack to assemble into 3D but as an illusion of 3D and mounted the whole box into a salvaged frame over the top of failed random loose piece of work, thus making a complete art work for display.


I am not sure if I like the way it is displayed on the loose background piece or whether I shall work up a complete artists desk and’ work in progress’ to support this image and make a new completed piece.


All I can say is it was fun to do but remains in itself an unfinished concept.

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