Monday, February 21, 2011
Struggle Towards Art
I used to think painting was hard and photography easy, but then I learned how to paint, studied the rules of composition and color -- and painting got, not easy, but easier. I thought that painting was the only true art, and that photography wished to be an art. But then when I picked up the camera, I learned that on top of all the rules of color and composition, there were all these technical aspects, totally different from painting, that made a picture come out or not. Photography could be hard too? What they share in common is that a picture or painting is only good when you have good light, you can arrange a good composition, have some nice colors to work with, and the planets align just right. And have some killer software to manipulate the picture. Where they differ is that with photography, when you go hunting for pictures, things present themselves to you, catch your eye, and, using all the skills you have, you record it to the best of your ability and then manipulate it until you get something that speaks to you. With painting, the canvas presents nothing to you. You have to present something to it. My hope is that I can find some way to bring the disciplines of these two arts together somehow. I don't want to paint from pictures; rather marry the two ways of thinking that occurs with each. What I have learned is that both painting and photography are true arts, and they both demand something of us, as an artist or as its audience.