• Emma Hill

Two Still Life Paintings Two Stories

Updated: Oct 2

I’m delighted to be showing two paintings with the Chelsea Art Society at an exhibition on the King’s Road. A collection of works, painting, sculpture and printmaking, from members of this wonderful, century old art society.


Here are a few thoughts on the still life paintings with tulips and a wilting rose that I am showing. If you would like to enquire about either paintings please contact Chelsea Art Society.


Ode to Autumn


Ode to Autumn

The last rose bids farewell to the beauty of autumn.

Light may dim but its brightness on a clear, fall day uplifts us.

The vase is French, a nineteenth century ‘Gourde’ vase, which I found at Kempton Market, one of a pair.

Here, it becomes a symbol for autumn.


To Autumn, John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


Poetry Foundation


Bayntun Tulips: Conversation Piece


Bayntun Tulips: Conversation Piece


Tulips have an irresistible character in the way they stand to attention and move with the light and then droop downwards as they bid farewell to the world.


The tulips in this painting are from my friend, plantswoman and tulip specialist, Polly Nicholson of Bayntun Flowers, holder of the National Collection of Historic Tulips. This work is one of a series of paintings made from a gathering of Bayntun tulips in late spring.


When setting up a still life with flowers, I am interested in the narrative. There is always a story - often simply the story of how the flowers and their stems and foliage both move within and occupy the space. At other times, the flowers take on their own silent narrative. Tulips are individual, characterful souls and here the narrative takes on a human like quality. We are the tulips.


The painting is divided into two, a foreground with a family of blooms in a mixture of hues and varieties in a favourite, large, blue and white antique jug. The background, with lone tulip propped inside an oft used antique scent bottle pushes and pulls the eye.


I have found it hard to name this still life painting – more than anything I see Bayntun Tulips as a conversation piece.


My still life paintings are currently showing with Chelsea Art Society at:


Chelsea In Colour

340 King's Road

SW3 5UR

Monday 3rd – Sunday 16th October 2022


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