4/10/07

Photography instead of Painting


I've said it many times, 'I am not a painter'. I have tried a few times to sit down with a canvas, brush....easel.... I do this or that and come up frustrated that it looks flat. I know you can build up paint and add things to it. I have in the past even attempted sticking things on the canvas. Ultimately I get more excited when I take a picture of something that looks to me as if it could be a painting. If I could paint, I would paint THAT photograph above but I would want it to come out looking just like that. Meaning, I would want to make it into a mixed media piece that had the same objects etc. Not all flat. Not on canvas. I'd need the wood and the mold (okay not the mold, I would have to re-create it). I would want to make a hole in there like you see on the left side. To me, that picture IS art.

Since it is still snowing up here in snow-globe country, since I still have snow tires on and poor gas mileage with said tires on. Since I am waiting for nice warm hazy spring to go out and take pictures, I am still looking at a batch I took last November. Right close to the NY, VT, Canadian border my friend and I saw an old farm off the road. OLD. Scary old. Lottsa land and a few trailers. No house. Creeped out but fascinated my friend goes to the trailer door to ask could I take some pictures. (heads turn towards artist safely ensconced in vehicle ready to flee) The farmer kept asking him if I were a painter or a photographer. It seemed to matter to him. Invariably when you tell someone you are an artist 9 x out of 10 they ask ~ 'what do you do?' or 'are you a painter or a photographer'. To try to explain what I do seems pointless unless someone is interested and has a clue. If I tell someone I glue puzzle pieces together and make masks they don't get it. If I try to explain that I like to take pictures and have them mounted onto a hard board and then put it on a piece of scrap....they don't get it.

I don't remember what my friend told the guy. He was gruff but acquiesced. It was getting damn cold; sleet was coming in waves mixed with rain. I had to get a few shots with my ever purple fingers. His barn looked like 'very bad things quite possibly could be or have happened on the premises'. Its eerie to walk around dilapidated but still used structures and machines. I'm quite fond of this shot, even if it is probably a reject since I kept having camera malfunctions and few of the shots are reproducible without blur. Its a simple shot...mold on wood. The base of a wall. Poor lighting and feeling like I had to get all I could before the guy kicked us out. He went somewhere in his old truck and came back. He loomed. We went to speak some more to him and got the hell out of there.

2 comments:

BlueJude said...

I love things like this! AND it is art and you are an artist. Of course explaining WHAT kind of artist you are is tricky. It's tricky for me sometimes, when I that I work in mixed media. A lot of people haven't a clue. (sigh) What does it matter? You got a great shot!

Nellie Bass Durand said...

Yup! Explainations are not easy. It took sooooo long for me to confidently state, "I am an artist". Now, I'm working on not stumbling all over myself trying to explain the type of art I do. My worst experience resulted in this smartass statement from a gallery owner in Aspen, "Yes, I guess I'm an artist, too. I painted these walls".

Having a feel for (as well as owning a piece of your art), I can hardly wait to see how you marry that wonderful photograph with other goodies you resurrect and elevate to ART.