Monday Motivator: Painting from Life vs Photos

Monday motivator art quotes

“I believe that I do not experience the world in the same way that a camera does; that the technical precision of a photographic view of the  world offers a seductive but basically false rendering, one which is based on an idea of the world as understandable, containable, defineable, precise, whereas my feeling is that the world is full of ambiguity, doubt, compromise and guesswork. … To work in a life situation is to directly experience this mobility of experience

… Further I believe that the creation of an artwork – the materials, surfaces, processes and attitudes is somehow analagous to the processes of perception so that the making of the thing becomes in some way an exploration or example of the partiality of our engagement with the subject/sitter. This whole terrain is to me the stuff of living perception; the interpretation and creation of our own version of the world — nearly all of which is absent from a photograph, so all that is lost before you even start.”

Alan McGowan, Art History News “BP Portrait Award” 17 July 2015

A photo is but a sliver of time, it’s not the beginning and end of what could be seen. Why would you let it dictate what you include in a painting. Please, a gazillion times over, never, ever give me the “but it was in the photo” reason for doing something in a painting. Use photos in a way that you can see say, “I thought I wanted to include it as an element in my painting which uses this photo as a starting point”.

Reference photo tree rings

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