I was asked to give a talk at the local Photographic Society on the subject "the difference between a photograph and a painting". This was my attempt at answering!
If we take the subject of landscape, before the making of the image can begin – be it by clicking the shutter or stretching the canvas and wielding the paintbrush – one has to SEE THE POTENTIAL OF THE SUBJECT. I think ones eye becomes trained to do this. I remember when I first started sketching I used a piece of card with a square cut out to focus on an area of landscape the total scene before me was just to overwhelming. The viewfinder on a camera also does this of course.
While the image is being captured on a camera or sketchbook, all the aspects of mood, weather etc have gone into ones brain with the image. This is so different to using an image from a postcard or one taken off the computer screen which you haven’t EXPERIENCED.
A painting then allows the artist to retain all the essential features of the subject and leave out the rest, in order to create a UNIQUE VISION!
Waking up the other morning to a heavy frost (it's winter here in New Zealand), I couldn't resist nipping out into the garden in my pjs to take this image. Nature is amazing!
Later that day I decided to send it to the national TV station as a possibility for their daily 'weather pic of the day'. It would make a change from the landscape with clouds or sunset ones I thought!
Imagine my surprise when it popped up on the screen that night. They had spelt my name wrong - but you can't win them all! The weather 'girl' even had a matching dress on!!
The hot days go on though we are now into the first days of March. Looking through the window trying to summon up enthusiasm to go into the studio and paint today, I spotted this scene just in front of the studio door so naturally grabbed my camera and captured this shot - a beautiful monarch butterfly on the geranium - which led me on to a painting session....
At 30C today the studio is pretty hot for painting, so a few pics (click to enlarge) taken while watering with the hose, as water restrictions have started. Hopefully some rain on the way soon. I feel for the folks on the other side of the world with sub zero temps and snow!
Nature is so great at colour combinations!! This broccoflower (broccoli with cauliflower) really is this brilliant green, and right next to it the marigolds and chives are complementary hues that form a natural canvas. The veggie garden gives me so much pleasure and inspiration as I enter my studio each morning - yes, I feel a series on these edible wonders coming on in 2019!!ery Happy Christmas.
Springtime in NZ, and the veggie garden outside my studio is getting established. Tomatoes, lettuce, capsicums, baby beetroot, courgettes, beans, both runner and dwarf, herbs, cauliflower - green heads (oh yuk say grandkids! but they taste pretty good. Red pelagoniums and dwarf marigolds for colour and pest control.
One of the joys of painting is because it's an activity that can be absorbing at any age. A recent reminder of this was the image sent to me recently by one of my Granddaughters - work for a school exam. The pic above shows how much she loved it back then, and the one below shows the progress in her artwork 15 years later. Amazing Zoe!
All the Grandkids have enjoyed my studio - see earlier blog - and each paints and draws so differently. It's a real 'window' on their personalities. They all seem to go for different types of media too and I really try hard not to make suggestions but let them experiment and find their own genre. Maybe show relevent well known artists' work in books or on the web when appropriate and demo materials, but otherwise - Gran! keep your hands off!
PS She achieved merit accreditation in all her NCEA art assignments when the results came out just recently!! WELL DONE.
This is what we woke up to recently - 2 degrees of frost transformed the garden. It looked so wonderful, that as the early morning sun lit up the Autumnal background trees, I had to do a quick pic in my slippers to capture it all. I guess I will have to get brush on canvas now - below is a work done in the Summer of this area of the garden some time ago.
"Colour is the influence of the soul: colour is a keyboard, the eyes are the hammers and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artists the hand that plays, touching one key or another purpose fully, to create vibrations of the soul".