Saturday, May 19, 2012

Copying and Experiencing Art



I love working from life. I like going out doors and painting or drawing, sketching in the subway, etc. I also work from photos and from imagination. I read an artist comment that anything other than working from imagination is merely copying. I disagree.

Working from nature is an experience and an opportunity to add visual information to that mental library where your imagination draws from. When you work from life you decide what and how much information you need for your image. You add, subtract, rearrange, reinterpret the information before your eyes to convey what you find interesting about it. If you strive to explain in paint, or whatever medium the thing that you find interesting about your subject then I can't see how that can ever be copying.

I can see how working from photos can becoming copying unless you apply the same method of decision making you do in life drawing, extracting and subtracting the information you need for your image. In the end its the image that matters- is it interesting? How well does your final image tell what you find interesting about your subject?  Does that carry like a conversation to the viewer?

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