Why Paint?

Katharine (katharinetrauger.wordpress.com) commented on my picture of “Nella Chiesa” and asked (in jest) which way the window faced and what time of day it was, which reminded me about my previous post, “Moving the Sun.”  Being an artist, I can change the direction of the shadows or the quality of the light to enhance my subject.  I also use a compact camera, despite the salesman’s assurances that I would like a DSLR better because the quality of pictures is so much greater.  I want a camera that I will carry with me a lot, and, actually, I don’t want perfect pictures.  If I take a fantastic photo, then it should stay a photo.  I use photos as references when I can improve the scene or use different colors to enhance the mood or make the scene say something more than is in the photo.

For example, here is my painting of the Duomo (cathedral) in Gubbio, Italy.

Nella Chiesa, 23" x 18"

My reference photo is here:

Duomo in Gubbio

I have brightened the interior and put in colors which don’t appear in the photo.  A value study helps with this, as I paint from the study and therefore am not as subject to the tyranny of the scene as when looking at a photo.

And, Katharine, I think the window faces east-southeast and it was late morning.

4 thoughts on “Why Paint?

  1. Actually, I wanted to know.
    I am funny that way. 😀
    A lot of the time, those windows face east and that would make the shot taken in the morning, but don’t you find the afternoon sun just is different? I guess I could be imagining things, though. Anyway, I also thought it could be noon on a really hot day near water or pavement, or a south window at noon.
    Just nosy, I guess. 😉

  2. My apologies, Katharine. I misread the “emoticon” in your comment. There is pavement outside the windows in the nave and the church is at the top of the village, which is built on the side of Mt. Ingino. I concluded that it was morning because I remember exploring the village further and then we all went to eat lunch (but Italian lunch time is about 1:30 p.m.). Thanks for taking so much interest in what I have painted and written.

  3. No apologies necessary, Ruth! Funny misunderstandings happen in conversations all the time!
    And, really, until this post, I had no idea so much had been changed from the “photo”. Still your painting does look like morning sun, to me. I cannot explain how the morning sun looks different, but to me, it just seems that it does.
    Thanks for your patience with my imaginings and keep painting! You have such ability! I love your work! 🙂

  4. Also, along the lines of your quality of camera conversation, when my daughter presented her portfolio of highly detailed work to the art department of her chosen university, in hopes of obtaining an art scholarship, one professor asked her, “So why don’t you just take a photograph?”
    Her answer, “Because photography is not in my blood.”
    She did not win the scholarship, but still uses a small, simple camera for reference and loves it because she does not–as she says–have to fear for its life. 🙂

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