Sunday, January 29, 2006

Roses, oil, 11x14 on canvas
Well, this is not a plein air painting, but a close cousin, a floral painted directly from life. There's an enormous amount of difference between painting from a photograph and painting directly from life. For one thing the camera does a lot of the work for you. It takes a three dimensional scene and translates it into a two demensional image, which is essentially what an artist needs to do. But it does it mechanically, flattening and distorting in a predetermined way dictated by the limitations of the mechanics of a camera. The artist who works directly from life on the otherhand makes choices based on aesthetics as to how and what will be sacrificed and changed as we reinterpret a 3D image into 2D. Secondly, a camera distorts lights and darks, averaging them out. Color, depending on your developing process can be vastly different than what we see with our eyes. So, as with landscape painting en plein air, painting directly from life in the studio allows the artist to see, touch, smell and engage with the actual subject, all to the benefit of the final image.

No comments: