Saturday, May 17, 2008

Photography & Demonstrations

As if painting demonstrations for the book weren't enough, I'm trying to shoot photos of them, too. I've gotten pretty comfortable with my Olympus Evolt E-500 over the last couple of years, so using the camera isn't the problem. The problem has to do more with interrupting the "flow" of the painting with these little traffic stops.

When I'm shooting a photo, it's not like stepping back to see how the painting's going. As most artists do, I step back now and then to evaluate my painting and to see what needs to be done next. But when I pick up the camera, that's not what I'm doing. I'm thinking more about framing my picture, checking my white balance and exposure and battery level, and making sure I get a good shot. Sure, these days it's pretty much "point and click" for me, but I'm not definitely not thinking about paint!

Often though, when I'm deep into the paint, I may forget about using the camera at all. This happens when the painting has taken on a life of its own and demands my attention in making small adjustments. These adjustments are important, but because they take up very little real estate on the canvas, the camera doesn't really capture them well. When seen by a viewer in a gallery, they certainly influence the overall effect, but they don't have much impact in a 4x6-inch reproduction on the printed page.

Here are the three other demonstration paintings I created this week.

"Unbridled Forsythia" 8x10, oil, en plein air

"Early Garlic II," 8x10, oil, en plein air

"Barn Bouquet" 9x12, pastel, en plein air

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