Entries from January 2018

What if Leonardo had a camera?

localattractionHave you ever wondered what it would have been like if the great masters had cameras?  I spent the week on vacation in a gorgeous setting, and everywhere I went I thought how beautiful a painting that would make.  But during the day it was 100+ F.  I couldn’t stand outside for more than a minute before I was totally drenched in perspiration.  So I whipped out my handy camera phone and began snapping pictures of things I would like to paint later.  I think several of the landscapes and still lifes turned out rather well considering they were done on a digital camera phone.  I have several held back to use as reference photos for later works.  But I wonder, sometimes, how people coped before such things were available.  I guess I’m just to soft to work as the masters did.

treesWhat if Leonardo had a camera?  Would we still be as interested if we had known exactly what Mona Lisa looked like?  With the mystery of her smile gone, would we even know who Leonardo was?  He was a great artist, that’s not what I’m getting at.  My point is that if he had a camera, without the artistic interpretation of his vision, would his work have survived the centuries?  I contend that it is not the craft of art, but the vision… the personal view that makes something art.  My favorite definition of art is “applied creativity.”  I’m not sure where I heard that or if I made it up, but it goes to my point.

HydrationbreakIf Michelangelo had a camera, would the Sistine Chapel have looked more like a billboard?  If it had been that easy, we wouldn’t have the stories of Michelangelo cursing at the priests as they chided him taking so long.  Do you suppose that all of his models were as cut and fit as the figures in his paintings and sculptures?  One thing for sure is that he would have had to find a real woman to pose as Eve.

hardcorebikercoffeeandcookieWould Rubens’ work have been deemed pornography?  Would it be hanging in museums around the world or merely traded in dingy, back-alley shops?  Would his religious photos have had the same impact as his “Elevation of the Cross?”  Of course not.  In the orginal film version of Jesus Christ Superstar, there’s the scene where Jesus is praying at the Garden.  To drive the “Passion” home to us, the viewers, they use a series of Passion paintings.  Why?  Because a photo just doesn’t convey the same sort of emotion as a sculpture or painting.  The hours of labor, sweat, tears, blood that go into creating a work like that show in the end.

vacationdinnerinThat’s not to say that there aren’t some great photos out there.  The drama and suffering of the children of Africa have graced many pages of fine magazines and galleries.  Historic and heroic events like the fire fighter carrying the limp body of a child out of the Murray Building during the Oklahoma City bombing disturb us on a deeply emotional level.  And they should.  They are at once beautiful and disgusting, heart warming and heart wrenching.  There are many such images as the men and women around the World Trade Center comforting each other.  There are photos of butterflies and kittens and children laughing, also, that all are quite well executed in composition, design and detail.

homecomingdinneroutThere are some great photographers whose works are every bit as prolific as the masters of the past.  Ansel Adams, Todd Gipstein, Suze Randall… All of whom have taken some amazing and inspiring photographs.  But I wonder, will we remember those photographers 500 years from now as we do the grand masters?  Will any of the photos even survive 500 years?

Figuratively Speaking

Posted by mobile phone:
Figuratively Speaking
The Oklahoma City Artist’s Guild hosts a figure drawing group every Tuesday night. The first two Tuesdays are mostly short poses, and the rest are long poses. Last week, a long pose session, the model assumed a pose when she first got there and was able to get back into that same pose after every break without marking her spots.

She would climb up on the stage and sit down. Then her eyes would glass over as though she were in some kind of a trance. Never twitching, itching or adjusting, I thought she must be some kind of yoga master… or maybe a guard at buckingham palace.

File info:
Type: image jpg
Size: 591.00 kb
Figuratively Speaking

Adrift

Posted by mobile phone:
Adrift
On Tuesdays, I like to post whatever weekly challenges I’m participating in. Lately, the only weekly challenge I’ve been doing at all is http://IllustrationFriday.com . Many of the weekly and even monthly challenges I was interested in have gone on summer haitus… hiatus… vacation. (There’s no spell checking on my mobile phone.) That’s where I am this week also.

This week’s Illustration Friday challenge is “Drifting.” Since this is exactly what I did to recover from the over 500 mile bike ride to get here, it seemed the perfect illustration on the topic.

File info:
Type: image jpg
Size: 478.00 kb
Adrift

Experimentation Final!

2oz Glue Moistener

2oz Glue Moistener

For the past few weeks I have been posting on Monday’s Discovery about my attempts to turn a glue moistener into a large waterbrush.  Then intent was to be able to shape the sponges and fill them with the color paint I wanted to lay down quickly.  In playing with these, however, I have found another application that I rather like.  When sketching in the field with a water brush, it is difficult to lay large amounts of color down, like sky or grassy fields.  Filling one of these with a blue mix for sky, or just using it to lay the backround wash seems to work fairly well!

WCtreesIII1Last week, I cut open the cap of this sucker and packed it with polyester batting to help control the flow of water.  With out that, the water just streamed out of the moistener and washed the color away just as fast as it layed it on.  Once the rubber cement dried to hold the batting in place, this thing worked like a charm!  Being that the sponge is synthetic with no natural pits or shapes, I will have to take a pair of scissors to cut and shape it into something more interesting.  But it holds paint pretty well and it was able to lay the colors down with some interesting patterns.

I threw this together just to demonstrate it’s effectiveness.  I ran out of patience because this is the only thing between me and a beautiful road trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas on the bike!

NHR FOREVER!

Posted by mobile phone:
NHR FOREVER!
Tonight was the all school mixer dinner of my 20th High School reunion. Not only did I get to mix it up with a few old friends, but I got to show off my trophy wife! I, along with another outspoken member of my class, have been tapped to be the Masters of Ceremony for the main reunion dinner tomorrow evening. There will be golf in the morning, a family picnic in the afternoon, and drunken story telling and reminiscing until all ungodly hours of the night. Which, considering our age, will probably be around 10.

File info:
Type: image jpg
Size: 561.81 kb
NHR FOREVER!