Sunday, November 20, 2011

vignette in process

Inspired by Steve's analysis of a vignette he composed, I decided to look a little deeper at the way I put things together. I was in the store all weekend, so played around there. In October I did this:

I was thinking rustic and autumn colors inspired by this walnut commode.

Last week I took away the pumpkin, and added the jug and berries with the little picture leaning against it. Yesterday, thinking about Steve, I added the pinecones and wood blocks, moved the small vases and added some green ones. I decided the theme would loosely be woods/trees. I had the log cabin birdhouse. The tall jugs are kind of like trees. The small vases--shrubs? Well, I'm not a strict constructionist--just liked the way they look.

I really like this little picture of the girls gathering wood. (I don't have much natural light in the store, so the flash makes these pictures less than optimal.)

Here's the full effect, except the berries are cut off in the picture, and they add nice height and color.

On the other end of the chest I added a woodcut of wood and a saw and what looks like part of a cabin. Too literal? I also added a book that has a picture of a tree on the cover. It looks more crowded in the picture than in real life. 

Today I switched the book. This color is much better. Then I added a red wood bowl with painted acorns. Now it looks too crowded and symmetrical.

Better. Still a little too symmetrical though. I think the woodblock should go.
It was a good exercise to think about theme and composition in the way that Steve laid it out. This week I'm going to try one at home. Maybe I'll even do a little sketch like he did.


  1. Halloween has over and Christmas season is coming. Autumn is deepened... The theme looks woods, while the pictures convey the chnage of season well, and I love it.

  2. i like the way you display your products. and anyway only by trying different ways we can get better in things. all things ; )

  3. Hey, thanks for the plug, Jen.

    For a store you can certainly go more crowded than you would want at home, especially during the holiday. I'm impressed that you're thinking of bottles as trees. Color always adds a very difficult component. I did like the balance of the two red items flanking the whole vignette. It's difficult stuff but you've got a good theme going there.

  4. Our Steve, he's always inspirational isn't he?

    You have such a fantastic array of merchandise it almost styles itself. Almost, right?

    Must look great in person because we all salivate over the pics.

    xo jane

  5. very interesting post. I wish I had a place to fuss over like you do. it would be so much fun...but a big challenge for me. I love the woodblock picture.

    - KAT -

  6. So many neat things! If I might make a suggestion, do you have a cool tray or low flatbasket you could collect everything in? I've always thought that really pulls it all together...

  7. Haricot--you are right about my inspiration. I love the phrase "Autumn is deepened."

    Thanks Demie. Yes, I am constantly moving things around, changing, learning, trying to make it better.

    Steve--I only thought of bottles as trees after the fact, when I was trying to make them fit the theme. :) Vignettes in a store is different, since I'm supposed to be trying to sell things. I tend to like to keep it spare--I want to sell that commode more than the items on top, and my inclination is to have only a few things on it. It's something I constantly wrestle with in the store.

    Jane-Steve is inspirational. I like that he keeps it real. He paints himself and his house as almost, but not quite, perfect--something within the realm of real life possibility, unlike many home decor blogs that I can relate to about as much as I can to a Disney World village. He's smart and funny too.

    Kat--I like that picture too. I'm surprised it hasn't sold--I've has it forever, but it's been tucked away.

    Anne-the problem with that is, I want to show as much of the commode as possible. I do use trays and baskets a lot to corral similar objects. You've given me an idea though...

  8. Oh, but don't let the woodblock go. I think the last picture is just perfect as is and not too much.

  9. Thanks Rubye. I'm beginning to agree with Steve that the red bowl should have stayed. Oh, the things I have to worry about!