Thursday, April 08, 2010

I'm Seriously Wondering...

I’ve been questioning a lot of things about my work lately. Reassessment is always good when it moves you forward. I’m firmly convinced that I am one improvement away from actually making a living at what I do. Then I discovered something really disconcerting: not only can paint shop pro take my photography and resize it to print but it can manipulate my photographs so that they are better than anything I could ever paint and in a fraction of the time.

Keep in mind its always relative. 15 years ago I was fuming because these whippier- snapper young graphic designers didn’t know how to hold a paint brush, couldn’t make pencil drawing and thought ink was something you fill the inkjet cartridges with. Programs like Correll
and PSP have revolutionized design /and they are also revolutionizing Art.

Grant-it there are still somethings I can do with a brush that I could never do with PSP, but the truth is for design and lay out, to simply construct specific animals, with consistently challenging color patterns and markings I need to be able to re make a photo that I can draw the lay out from and then transfer that to the medium surface. It becomes more and more unwieldy to draw everything by hand without first constructing a new digital image for reference.

Its been a little humbling to move from traditional ways of doing things to new modern ways of doing things. Including the fact that I have always prided myself in my drawing skills. and my ability to eyeball and really see the subject.

 Well up until this point, that is. I’m seeing  things differently than I did in my 20's. Next month I will be 55. The shape of my eyes have changed, the way I perceive color is different. The steadiness of my hands is also different. These days I have to warm up like an athlete to paint well. That is one reason I work in series; Painting one animal type in different variations so that when I have a commission due I am all warmed up and ready to go.

Adapting is the hallmark of a good artist. I adapt all the time. And in truth my skills improve every day. For the first time in my life, last week someone complimented me on my consistency in painting. I never thought myself consistent so I focused on it a lot. Then gradually
overtime that focusing paid off. In an artist that continuous change and moving forward is the thing that takes them and makes their work last. Adapting to change is the thing that establishes them. I fully expect that my next 20+ years of painting will indeed be the best of the best work I have ever done with or without modern technology.

All of the above images of the original digital photograph snapped by artist LindaLMartin and manipulated by using diferent light and brush techniques on Adobe Paintshop Pro CSC3

The Image below is  the Original Painting
of the Birdbath by Linda L Martin

The Bird Bath
by Linda L Martin
5 by 7 Inches

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