I'm not old enough to be set in my ways but I am looking forward to a time in my not-to-distant-future when I'll become grumpy and say things like "back in my day...". Until then I'm open to new ideas and new methods of painting. A photographer friend of mine, Carlos Taylhardat is the Chief Head Shooter at ArtofHeadshots.com and he's been pushing me to try painting on digital prints. This week I caved and had some prints put on to a heavy, cold-pressed water color paper, devoid of color. To this I add watercolors and texture with pen. The end result is a hyper-real watercolor/illustration. I'm going to try a couple of these as it takes a bit of getting use to.
Pt John Howard based on photo by Louie Palu
I'm still not sure if I like it. I'm a bit of a traditionalist and this always got me into trouble at Emily Carr. There it was clear that process was a means to an end and its the end results that matter. Process and technique are the very systems of making art but that process should not hinder your ability to create. It should in fact expand it! It wasn't the idea of trying a new painting processes that bothered me as much as the idea of painting onto an existing photograph. Seems like cheating, which has nothing to do with art, because art in itself is all about coping, interpreting, adjusting and mimicking. I think this has roots back with my grade-school teach who, after I turned in a drawing for a project, taped it to the chalk-board with a big 'F' on it as a warning to other students who 'traced' their subject matter. Truth is I free-handed Mr Donald Duck but that big red 'F' left an impression on me: don't trace or photocopy because its cheating. I know this is ridiculous but I can't begin to count the number of times after that incident fellow students asked me if I traced the art work I was working on.
As with all things in life, the finished work has to stand on its own merits. Now where is my tracing paper...