Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Seat In The Shade

oil on canvas 120 x 80 cm or 47 x 31.5 inches
I had to post something else up on this blog as the picture that Katherine posted of me, night painting, really began to annoy me as it popped up in the side bar of my blog!  
This is a big studio piece that I did for my recent exhibition at Beside The Wave.  Obviously larger studio works are done from photographs and I know that many people see that as "cheating" somehow.  Personally I know that many many artists use photographs but very few admit to it, it seems to be a bit of a naughty secret.  I don't see anything wrong with using as much information gathering media that you can lay your hands on.  I know one artist, Paul Lewin, who makes soundscapes which enhance his work and put him into the "zone" to work on his studio based paintings.  Another, Miles Heseltine,who takes very deliberately rubbish videos of the place he wants to paint and plays them over and over while he paints. 
 I do think that if you are going to use photographs then it is vital that you also work outside, en plein air, or draw and sketch as much as you can.  This practise really helps you use the photo properly, lets you control what you put in your painting and avoids a slavish copy.  We look and see very differently to the way a camera does, we are interested and stimulated by strange things while a camera sees and records all.  You need to make yourself aware of how you "see" before working with a photograph.
Anyway the exhibition went very well, my work sold well.  I was pleased by what sold and surprised by what didn't sell, some of the strongest peices didn't sell which only goes to show that there really is no way of predicting what makes somebody buy a painting!

3 comments:

Robyn Sinclair said...

Fond memories of walking past that gorgeous house to get our daily bread. Delighted to hear your show went well, Sarah. Not surprised though. ;)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Nice to have a change! :)

I'm ever so pleased you decided to use this one. As Robyn said we all loved that house from our walk between car park and boulangerie. It had massive character

Good to hear that your exhibition sold well. I bet those garden paintings went - love those!

I also agree with your comments re photographs. It's impossible to look at photos and use them well unless you have also observed "place" in a generic sense for some time. It's getting used to and trying to match the colours which really makes the difference.

I'm constantly reviewing my photos for my new blog and finding I can remember the ones where I was surprised when I saw them that the colour was wrong!

vivien said...

I totally agree - using photos can be useful but to use them well, you need that plein air, from life experience :>)

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