painting and photographic works

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Leaves on a May Morning

This picturesque morning  in Edmonton was the day after a heavy spring snow fall (with much of it still on the ground). The day started off foggy but the sun soon broke through making for some good images.

Orange Celebration

Orange Celebration

Pine in the Fog

Pine in the Fog

Dew

Dew

Shining Through

Shining Through

Trees on my Street

Trees on My Street

Photographic References for Abstract Painting?

It has become quite common (an pretty much acceptable) for artists to paint from photographic references rather than from a model in the studio or from a landscape “en plein air”. But do photographs have any value to an “abstract” painter? Well, for me they certainly do. One of my favorite forms of photography is abstractions, especially¬† those that push to the edge of non-representational-ism. Through the use of camera-motion and long exposures, with a bit of post-processing to enhance colors and contrast (and some cropping), I regularly come of with images that I will use to inspire my paintings. Here are some recent examples (all are photographs) that I can’t help thinking would make dramatic largish paintings on canvases/boards/paper in acrylic, oil or pastel.

Spot Lit

Surreal Manuscript

Light on Blue

Light on Blue

Cubist Portrait

Cubist Portrait

Base

Base

Sweep

Sweep

My painting are yet to come out of any of these images and I’m not sure how related the final work might appear in comparison to these references but some day I shall tackle them.

This is Abstraction Too

Another bunch of abstract photos from the same session as the last post. This group though might be described as less abstract in that the source image can probably be identified.

Shrubs

Shrubs

Pillar

Pillar

Slope

Slope

Pink Wall

Pink Wall

Peonies Rising

Peonies Rising

This is Abstraction

I have always tried to make a distinction between abstraction and non-representational or non-objective art (although admittedly I often tire of trying to explain the difference and just fall back to the common definition of abstract referring to random non-representationalism).

A simple definition of abstraction is a simplification or a distilling to an essence – which implies the image is derived or related to something real. To me virtually all photography lies on a continuum running from realism to highly abstract and most paintings that aren’t hyper-realism are a form of abstraction.

All of this is by way of introducing my latest exploration of abstract photographic images. These are all digital photgraphs – of things! They have been simplified or abstracted by using long exposures and intentional camera movement.

Yellow Corner

Yellow Corner

Half Green

Half Green

Itchy

D80-14301

Itchy

Fog

Fog

Spring Sneaks In (Part 2)

Here are some more photos from Edmonton’s river valley on the first weekend of April, showing the transition to spring.

For the eyes starved of color over the months of winter, the faint golden glow of the uncovered grasses and the rosy haze of the Dogwood twigs in the distance, is a feast for the eyes.

Snowy Path

Snowy Path

Rosy Haze

Rosy Haze

Path to the Blue Forest

Path to the Blue Forest

Subtle Color

Subtle Color

Melting Path

Melting Path

Spring Sneaks In (Part 1)

As April arrives in this part of the world (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), spring continues its advance. Although it will be a good month longer until the bare trees will burst into leaf, the snow (even that which fell in the last week) is mostly melted and there is something in the air that warms the soul and brings a smile to my face.

Today while out walking in Edmonton’s river valley I caught these images, these hints of life to come:

Shrubs and Sticks

Shrubs and Sticks

Path to Spring

Path to Spring

Tracks in the Mud

Tracks in the Mud

Slow Spring

Slow Spring

Spring Sky

Spring Sky

Icy River

Images of ice and water from the Bow River in Calgary in early March.

Jagged Edge

Jagged Edge

Spots

Spots

Ice

Ice Sheet

Stone Cache

Stone Cache in the Elbow

Verticals

Verticals

Broken Ice

Broken Ice

Far Shore

Far Shore

Urban Orange

A little photo series that I shot today (2015 February 23) in Edmonton.

Rising from the Orange

Rising from the Orange

Gravel Remembrance

Up

Up

Expression Orange

Expression Orange

Evening Orange

Evening Orange

Mill Creek in February – Photos

On the south side of Edmonton lies a deeply wooded ravine in which runs the Mill Creek. In winter it will be frozen over in some places and have flowing water in other locales. Here are some photos from 2015 February 8th:

Far From the Core - The downtown Edmonton skyline in the distance, near an access to the Mill Creek Ravine.

Far From the Core – The downtown Edmonton skyline in the distance, near an access to the Mill Creek Ravine.

Creek Opening

Creek Opening

Snowy Creek

Snowy Creek

Snow and Reflections

Overwintering - Mallard ducks in  Edmonton's Mill Creek

Overwintering – Mallard Ducks in Edmonton’s Mill Creek in February

Bridge Over Mill Creek

Red Bridge Over Mill Creek

Yukon Landscapes – Black and White

I have recently been reviewing (and cleaning up) some photos from a trip taken a number of years ago. It was June of 1993 when we set off driving from Edmonton to the Yukon and Alaska. In this post I feature 5 landscape photos taken on the way back. I don’t remember exactly where each of these were taken – most likely in southern Yukon but possibly southeast Alaska or northern British Columbia.

These photos were all shot on color slide film then scanned and digitized a few years ago. That process did not yield great results but after a bit of work with Lightroom I have achieved some images that are presentable. Black and white digital processing seemed particularly suited to these landscapes:

Around the Bend With Rapids

Around the Bend With Rapids

Black and White Road

Black and White Road

Cloud Build-up

Cloud Build-up

Rock in the River

Rock in the River

Trees on a Rocky Bank

Trees on a Rocky Bank

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