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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: