painting studio treasure box

Painting studio treasure box

Today I was looking around for interesting still-life subjects to paint and rediscovered my old painting studio treasure box. It has lain buried in a dark corner of my work space for a few years, due to lack of space. I am so pleased to have found it again and it has already stirred up a few memories, and some ideas for paintings!

The treasure box collection

I started putting anything visually interesting into this box more than 30 years ago. I was working as an illustrator at the time and would collect anything that I thought might be useful reference material in future. Found objects from country hikes or beach walks. Small gifts. Interesting stones and feathers picked up along the way, all went in the box. I painted it as an illustration sampler for my portfolio back in the 1980’s but lots more things have been added since then. It will also be interesting to see how much my approach to painting still-life has changed since my days as an illustrator.

painting studio treasure box reference

Painting studio treasure box

Family and friends might recognise an item or two.  The box itself used to be the cash box in the Masons Arms pub in Ackworth, West Yorkshire. I found it covered in muck in the old bottle-store room in the 1970’s. I’m guessing that it dates from around the 1940’s from the style of the paper print inside the lid. When I originally found it the cash box was separated into compartments for various coins.

What is it ?

I have always been puzzled by one item in the box ! Between the key and the piranha is a small wooden container. It appears to be one half of something. The half-ball in the centre has a ‘leaf’ design painted on it. I would love to know what it is…