Want to help choose the next artwork for a visual meditation?

Inspired by the WordPress prompt yellow, I’ve hunted down three artworks that caught my eye. Well, actually, my nose.

I’ve heard that smell is our fastest route to memory. As I began to sniff each of these pieces, I found some surprise recollections popping up.

Can you imagine how different each of these scenes would smell? Which ones do you feel a physical response to? Not necessarily pleasurable … something strong and rich.

To help choose, just reply “1”, “2” or “3”. And I’d love to hear too if there’s a particular scent you suggest to go with these images, or an emotion or memory it evokes.

1. Picking your way through …

Reply “1”
Artwork: ‘Flower beds in Holland’, Vincent Van Gough, courtesy National Gallery of Art Washington

When did you find flowers too beautiful to pick? How about picking our way through it on our feet – led by our eyes and nose, no hands required. Sweet? Subtle? Earthy? The faint smell of damp soil or even compost?

2. Licking the knife?

Reply “2”

Artwork: ‘Mound of Butter’, Antoine Vollon, courtesy National Gallery of Art Washington

When I look at butter, taste and smell seem to merge into one. Where do you experience this image? Somewhere on your tongue? Rich, creamy, sickly … I’m remembering my little sister eating a large hunk as a child – she mistook it for cheese.

3. Drawing the curtains to …

Reply “3”
Artwork: ‘The Yellow Curtain’, Edouard Vuillard, courtesy National Gallery of Art Washington

When do you remember curtains being drawn. Mornings at a grandparent’s house, somewhere on a holiday, perhaps in a hospital. So many possible scents: musty, velvety, soapy … invent your own.

Your choice?

Reply 1, 2, 3 and I’d love to hear anything else that these artworks prompt for you.

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