Friday, February 18, 2011

No Photos, ever???

I was tossing and turning this morning wondering where
this was all leading.  I thought about the statement I made
yesterday "No Photo's Ever!  It's been worrying me ever
since.  I can't remember all the of the places and things I've
seen over the years.  Photo's are the only memories I have.
I guess that's why I take so many of them, most are useless
or provide just a brief glimpse of what I was seeing and thinking.
For me they're mind reference and only for that purpose!

This is what I did wrong.  I tried to draw directly from a photo
and then paint loosely.  Yeah, that's right, I just said that.
This is what Loriann was talking about.  It's not wrong to
have photo's but it's wrong to use them as direct reference or
to copy.  Of course this is not true for everyone.  If exact
replication and detail is your style then yes, photo reference
is perfect if you can't have the subject in front of you.

I have to be careful of what I say, this is ME I'm talking about
here, not everyone else.

So, another day has dawned and it's time to put on the coffee
and see where it leads.  Wish me luck, I'll need it!

Have a wonderful day everyone!
From Sedona,


TheChieftess said... grandfather was an artist who specialized in botanical watercolor plates..he even hand painted glass slides that were about 3"x3"...very precise, detailed work. He painted the whole plant or blossom, then the inside details...I remember watching him when I was a little girl...he would have a photograph of the original, the original plant, and a plant dissected all at his desk ready for him to paint...
guess that makes me biased...and personally...I don't think it's where the image begins for an's what is being grandfather's work was very precise and scientific...yet I have a friend who paints from photos and it is very expressive and definitely her own interpretation...inspiration is inspiration...wherever and however it comes to you...let it come...and let there be paint!!!
Glad to have you back online Doug!!!

Double "D" said...

Hi Chieftess,

I understand completely. What your grandfather was painting needed all available reference for the exactness he was presenting. It was his talent and creativity to paint that way. As you say, inspiration is inspiration. I've just been letting the photos dictate the process and ultimately the outcome. Taint working anymore so I'm going to swerve all of the cliff of discovery and see where I land.

Great to hear from you always.
How are things in Mammoth?

Double "D" said...

As I've said as an illustrator all my life ... you're only as good as your reference. I just have to do something different with the reference.

TheChieftess said...

It's ALL in the expression!!! I love that you're going to "swerve all off the cliff of discovery and see where I land"! As an artist, when something "taint working anymore" it just means you've grown past that point of inspiration! Have a fun and inspiring journey!!!

SamArtDog said...

Hey, take it easy on yourself! It could be worse. I can't seem to take a picture of my paintings without nasty glare and ghastly color. I think I need a polarizer. Or a photographer.

loriann said...

Hey PB, I think you have found your new key. It's all about your aim. I think you have been frustrated and bundled up because you want something else, something different than your illustrator days.
You are no longer a slave to time. You are your own master. You can sit with an idea, let it percolate, and make something that is uniquely yours. When you copy something it really removes the "you" from the equation...the feeling you that is, because feeling isn't the goal of copying. Using a photo as a spark and then putting it away after it has done its brief duty...that still allows you out to play.This is a good thing for you to wrestle with, enjoy. -b
PS remember we all have different ideas and they are all valid.... these are just mine.

Double "D" said...

Hey Sam a d s,

I've always thought your photo copies were excellent on your blog. My biggest problem is getting them square as opposed to showing the curvature of the earth or a reflection on the end of some kids bubble gum. Double trouble!

Dear B,

You are always so thoughtful and kind in your inspirational comments. Since I've been out here I've felt an urgency to get something finished. I hate to leave my blog empty. Hopefully those 35 years of deadlines will drop off my memory for good, sooner rather than later.

I just couldn't stand it anymore today. I went and looked at my photo reference hoping for sparks of ideas. I did have some sparks, so we'll see what happens in the next few days. Hopefully that dang bully illustrator will let me out to play. If not there's going to be trouble out on the boardwalk!

I'm off to find the lock that the key fits!

Thanks for your special advice. It's always
so special, I hope you don't start charging for it.

Thanks B,


Caroline said...

It is amazing how much we change during our life time. I remember fourteen years ago I worked from photos I was painting watercolours of well known places in my town. I don't think the end result looked anything like the photo as I still had to learn how to draw very well and then mix my colours which all took quite a long time and took me away from gazing too much at the photo. After doing that for a few years I started to work from sketches of places I visited up in the mountains and on the islands of Orkney and the Isle of Skye. This was exciting as I could start to use my drawing skills and paint mixing experience to create some inspiring work. I did use my memory and sketches for the works. I have looked at other watercolour artists such as Seago and Edward Wesson really because I wanted to loosen up my painting style. After that I just found working from a photo impossible until I recently did a tree painting online course with Deborah Paris. I had to return to using photo yet in a different way. I have a laser printer here at home black and white because it is cheaper more copies for the ink etc. Anyway I would return home download the photos and then hit print! the most amazing abstract areas of trees would appear in soft grade print outs my printer tends to print out quite light unless I adjust the contrast which I have been doing recently. So suddenly I found a way I could be creative with black and white photography on an A4 sheet of paper. From that I could find a way of being creative and being able to draw how the tree tapers the branches etc! I think it is important and interesting to read your thoughts on your creative process. If locking away the photos is for you then please do try it.