Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Campfire on Coast Guard Beach

Some pics of my daughter Kaitlyn and grandsons Brey and Wyeth last August on Coast Guard Beach, Islesford. I love the primary colors of these photos and wonder (again) how to use photos in making my art. I'm not a fan of paintings that are copies of photographs - they often look stilted, fake, and overworked. There are artists who can pull it off. It works when an artist intimately knows the subject matter - especially the three dimensionality of the subject matter. Otherwise, it is just an exercise in rendering a flat two dimensional image, which can result in a work that is stiff and lifeless looking. The photo can be a wonderful memory tool. It can also provide a jumping off place for a painting. And sometimes it is simply the two dimensional aspects of the photographic image that are the inspiration for a painting. As usual, there are no set rules. But I do struggle with using, and how to use, photographs, rather than working from life.


artslice said...

What great photographs! I struggle with using photos too, but I have to say I rely on them... for memory and because they're 'always there' to refer to. I try to think of them as the start of something. There's a point where I make myself put them away and keep going with what's happening in the painting.

Martha Miller said...

Yes, and that's the jumping off place!