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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Punching up 'Paradise'

Sometimes I fall in love with a composition in a photo and become very disappointed with the painted results.  Why?  It's a question artists must constantly ask themselves as they evaluate a painting in progress.  I'll try to explain one possible reason a carefully rendered photograph may fall short.
I loved this photo taken by Ruth Novak from her boat.  It had all kinds of neat vacation implications (is she skinny dipping? relaxing? napping down below....), it also said "Paradise Found," and made me feel hot and sticky and cool and wet all at the same time.  Believe it or not this 5 x 7 pastel is a fairly accurate rendition of her photo.  But I find it a bit boring.  Or put another way: it is NOT interesting; I do not want to linger in this piece and let my eyes and imagination wander.

My analysis says "put away the photo and have some fun." Exaggerate the light and shadow and get some vibrant dark water around that towel; let the colors vibrate.  Make the sun on that suit hot, hot, hot and don't be so worried about the outlines...everyone knows what it is.  My courage wains: what if I screw it up?  My brain answers: can't be worse than it is.  My practical side says: but the water isn't really purple.  My artist side answers: who cares?

It boils down to a choice: a photo-perfect reproduction or a creative, interesting piece of art.  Everyone choses differently but in this case I will vote for the latter.  Wish me's back to the easel!
I'd really, really welcome your suggestions!!
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