thanx Beate / littlebeech
... i think your "old Basque" turned out pretty spectacularly too.
...(glad to see you back here): I strongly disagree that "even the best photos fail to convey a person's essence"...While i would agree that no one photograph can capture the many dimensions of an individual, the same is true for a painting or sculpture...but you bring me to a point that has been on my mind quite a bit lately.
I have been thinking a lot about the habit or need to diminish one form of artistic expression in order to elevate another (usually one's own).
Something I am itching to address in detail (I smell an article brewing) is the chronic disrespect leveled against artists who work from photographs in general and photorealists specifically.
Yesterday, i was reading an article in the portrait classroom about edges and backgrounds...These are topics relevant to artists working in a variety of styles, yet the author of the article ended the second paragraph with these two sentences:
"If your goal is to create a work of art that looks just like a photograph you can skip this section. But if you’re ready to explore and experiment with your medium to portray your subject in a manner that would never be mistaken for a photo, read on."
I am sad to say that i couldn't finish reading the article because with those two sentences, i lost all respect for the author. I am mildly embarrassed to admit that i immediately investigated the website of the author and discovered (unsurprisingly) quite a mediocre talent.
I point this out not because i am trying to be mean...well, not JUST because i am trying to be mean
I point out the mediocrity, because that attitude reflects a "smallness" of imagination. I sense in those two seemingly innocuous sentences the sour grapes of someone who has learned all of the 'rules' of what a 'good artist'
does and does not do, yet their own work is flat, uninspired, and poorly executed.
How deadly dull it would be if EVERYONE felt the need to paint like Jeremy Lipking (whom I love). I do not believe in ONE way to paint or draw (or sculpt....or cook...or...play canasta)...I believe in the pursuit of EXCELLENCE in whatever style, or medium, or field one has chosen to work.
If the author of that article wanted to address the pitfalls of working from photographs, then that is a topic worthy of its own article. There ARE many limitations and distortions in photographs and a good or great photographer knows how to exploit those distortions to maximum effect.
There is (of course) much more to say on the topic, but it is my bedtime now, and I have rambled on enough. If you have read this entire entry, give yourself a pat on the back and a cookie ;-)