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Old 06-03-2005, 11:35 AM   #1
Patricia Joyce Patricia Joyce is offline
'09 Third Place PSOA Ohio Chapter Competition
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Joined: Aug 2003
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Robert Genn Newsletter

I found this most interesting and helpful, thought it should be shared here:

From the Robert Genn Twice Weekly Newsletter:

Last weekend I attended an exhibition of the work of a wide
range of painters. A lot of it was photo-derived--some of it
really crackerjack--others not so hot. Why is it that some
people can take photographic reference and make it exciting,
while others only succeed in reproducing a photo?

A lot of it has to do with the analysis that an artist gives to
the reference prior to picking up the brush. Here are a few
ideas you might find useful: When you're looking at a photo
that you think might be made into a painting, clarify in your
mind what was the main area or interest in the photo that
attracted you in the first place. Will this focus area make
the transition into paint? Which areas are worth keeping and
which are to be left out? Will other elements need to be
added? How and where can more "spirit" be added to this
reference material? How can the final work be made to sing?

Now spend some time hunting down and making decisions about the
innocent weaknesses in the photo that can lead to "photoism" in
paintings. These may include lineups, convergence,
homeomorphism, dead shadows, poor composition, detail overkill,
amorphous and formless elements and problem areas in general.
Sort out the elements that don't look right and that will have
to be re-designed. Also, don't let yourself be distracted by
colour. Local colour is often arbitrary and can be changed.
In your mind's eye, reduce your reference to black and white or
some other narrow range. Now make a decision about an
efficient order that you might work your way through. This
requires sitting, looking and thinking. Focal
areas--particularly difficult focal areas--ought frequently to
be tackled first in order to give courage to the balance. On
the other hand, an overall monochromatic lay-in goes a long way
toward solving future problems. I believe in a holistic
approach--here, there, everywhere, like a bee going to flowers.
As well as the above, it's a fresh and painterly look that
shoots down the photo-paralysis, but that's probably just a
personal prejudice.

Photos, when processed through a creative mind, are the finest
of servants. When they take control they can become miserable
and demanding masters that are capable of ruining an otherwise
joyous day. Have a good one.

Best regards,


PS: "One way to get "beyond the photo" is to take a lot of
photos of one subject. This helps you to see all the nuances
as if you were painting from life." (Theresa Bayer)
Pat Joyce
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