As I noted in my previous posts, I am really having a challenge with selection a true watercolor technique with which I am comfortable. So far, my efforts are somewhat frustrating – showing promise, but not quite ready for prime time if you catch my drift.
Meanwhile, as images come to mind, I found that I am getting much better at simulating the watercolor wet on wet effect digitally. Starting with Photoshop elements, a mouse, and a new white photoshop “canvas” and background layer, I was able to create this image. A larger version is here.
I wanted to use my sunflower image in a true effort at making a digitally prepared “painting.” This was the result – Sunflower Trio.
I needed to make it scale to a very large size (for a print) to simulate a canvas. This one will go to 32″ x 40″ with excellent quality and even higher if necessary … it is 6000 pixels wide.
The images have been digitally edited to depict depth, and color gradients were added to represent the flower’s foliage, the earth, and the sky. I hope you like it. As always share a link to the image on your social media if you do as it is very helpful in getting a bit of recognition. Thanks.
I promised to update you on any changes to my post about what we have on our own walls. This grouping of three was added just this week to our living room. All of ours are 8×8 images framed in 12×12 mats, inside 14×14 medium gray frames and look something like the small image above, although the mum is on the left and the magnolia on the right at our house. There really is nothing special about the choice of subject, but each of the three involved some extensive post processing to attain the “glow” that each have.
Individual photo of each of these are in my gallery, Florals. If you like floral art, you should also check out Enhanced Florals, a group of us who work with this subject matter. As always, we appreciate any purchase you might be able to make, and we also appreciate it if you share a link to our images on your social media accounts.
I had someone actually ask this question of me … and I am almost quoting literally. So its a fair question … I take a lot of photos, and put a few on my sales site … which ones do we have on our walls — outside of my studio where I have a work board of recent photographs.
The answer today is three: Cracker Cabin because the print appears almost three dimensional, Windmark Beach because the scene is so reminiscent of paintings done by the Florida Highwaymen, and Bridge House because we love the way the railroad ties lead the viewer into the photo itself.
I continue to ponder just what artistic activity we photographers engage in. A craft is an activity exercising skill in making something. These days it is possible to switch on a DSLR, point it in the direction of the subject, and let the electronics in the camera decide what sort of scene is being viewed, adjust all camera settings for that type of scene, select the “film” speed, focus the lens leaving the photographer-artist with the only task of pressing a button. While many of us look for cameras that allow us much more control over settings, and focus, I suppose it could be said that the camera’s internal computer is engaged in the craft of photograph making.
Back to the dictionary … an applied art is modifying everyday objects so that they are harmonious or beautiful (the dictionary uses “aesthetically pleasing” but that just references back to beauty). That begins to get closer to what the photographer does — at least one like me who often just wanders around looking for minimalist or abstract points of view — what we do add to what the camera as craft operator does is ‘see’ the scene in the viewfinder as a totality and judge it attractive to our personal sense of aesthetics which we hope others will enjoy.
As I noted earlier, the dictionary tells us that fine art is the production of items which are beautiful and provide intellectual stimulation. It is that last part that is the killer … stimulating the mind, getting a reaction that starts the viewer thinking, even if the viewer comes to the conclusion that they disagree with the artists vision, the artists was successful in igniting the thought pattern … the process is difficult for any artist, and I think especially difficult for a photographer. Ramon Martinez has mastered the craft side of the photograph and is successfully working on the fine art side of intellectual stimulation. Check out his work here.
Fine art is a term most likely very few understand. Here are two dictionary definitions: “art” is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power; “fine art” is creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic [meaning ‘beauty’], or intellectual content.
So the dictionary experts went around in a circle. The key seems to be in the word “solely” — fine art exists for its own sake, whereas art can be produced for any number of reasons. Does the stock image photographer produce art or fine art?
I doubt this fits in either category, but I was fascinated with the play of light and shadow.