20.000 x 16.000 x 0.500 inches
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Painting - Oil On Canvas
So this is how I did it…
To get the accuracy in the pier sketch, the correct perspective and spacing and such, I used my projector as a light box and traced the photo. Is this cheating?
But it is also a contemporary tilt that affects the way the final image looks. Photography in painting creates very different images from non-photographic, or drawn images.
There are great, memorable and important paintings made with the use of the camera. The whole Pop Art Photorealism movement of the 1960’s was based on this premise.
At Zatista there a bunch of paintings like that, which owe a debt to photographs. Like this one by Joshua Kadtke http://www.zatista.com/product/details/17356/group-effort or the work by Johannes Wessmark. http://www.zatista.com/store/artist_profile/items/1741/Johannes-Wessmark-store
or more famously, Ralph Goings http://www.ralphlgoings.com/ or Richard Estes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Estes from the pop art movement.
A few days after tracing the pier from a photograph and painting the projected image onto the canvas, I was struck by the composition of my studio. I sketched it with the drawing board perched on my knee.
In my mind I was tracing the outlines of the various objects on the table. It was like my mind had been trained to copy outlines from all the previous tracing. It is ironic that the studio sketch above shows the projector as it was really drawn from life.
Inevitably, one makes mistakes when freehand drawing. For example, the scale of the paint brushes in the foreground got a little too large to fit into the space on the paper where the foreground is supposed to go. It is the skill of the drawer to adjust the image to accommodate for those mistakes.
I contend that it is those mistakes that make an artwork uniquely human. It is the mistakes in the image that makes the magic: that over exaggerated curve in the painting of a woman’s neck that really speaks out to us about her state of mind.
The mistakes make the rhyme of creative bent. The drawer’s inaccuracies take the visage away from just image and turns into a signpost for your heart; that turns the image away from the original source and into Art.
At this point I thought I might be finished. The lower reflection seems much more alive, which is funny as the projection was unclear in that section and most of it is guess work. So I painted in the orange, a little life in an otherwise traditional painting.
I then sold the piece, but I had already added the orange so the sale fell through. gurr!!
I am happy with the fished work. It is a lot more interesting than it was before, more fun. I like the conversation between the loose yet realistic handling of the green blue reflection, and the pop of the contrasting orange.
December 8th, 2011
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