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February 22nd, 2012 - 12:19 AM
It's all in the details.
Some of my artwork is often mistaken for a photographic image when in reality they are high detail drawings or paintings, usually requiring hundreds of hours of painstaking work. Sure, I take photographs and sure, I could simply reproduce a similar image. . . but to me it is the effort of creating an image by hand that is true to the natural scene I am trying to depict which provides the real challenge. To begin with a blank page and then accurately reproduce a sky with rolling clouds drawn in diagonal strokes of the pencil built in layers of color is simply satisfying to my soul. Basically, it's the constant decision making and tactile effort which feeds my artistic engine.
I have been asked why I work from photographs rather than paint or draw on location. Well, I do both to some extent, however, to me light and shade define an image and in a matter of minutes a landscape will change due to the Earth's rotation and environmental conditions (weather, clouds, etc.). If an artist sits on location for hours, the highlights and shadows will have radically altered by the time the artwork is complete, especially for me because I'm so detail oriented and rather slow-paced. Talk about a challenge! So, long ago I decided to learn photography in order to resolve this dilemma and (if I must say so myself) I've gotten pretty darn good at it. After all, "practice makes perfect" and boy do I practice.
Sometimes a photograph stands on its own and I will never reproduce it by artistic means. For decades I displayed my photographs separately from my artwork, but today I am less concerned over professional impressions, so I have combined them in this print gallery.
Of course, this is my method and it works for me while other artists may have a radically different approach that works for them. The bottom line always comes down to the finished product, the completed image. Is it a success to the artist's eyes? To others? Ultimately, it's a matter of individual taste forged in the gut.
I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the subject.