Friday, September 25, 2009

Artistic Style Part IV - Some Inspiring Realism

"Cute White Kitten" 12x9 inches, colored pencil on colorfix, $135 unframed, $165 matted and framed with plexiglass.
Giclee Reproductions also Available. Contact me.

In thinking about why I am currently working realistically, I will say the primary reason is choosing to depict animals and very much enjoying the connection with others that comes from a pet portrait commission. I do not seek to be what I consider to be "photo-realistic". I am motivated to bring the animal to life within the best of my capabilities without going down to such a minute/detailed level. Though intrigued by colored pencil when coming back to art, I was at first relunctant to try it because it seemed to be too "meticulous". I feel I currently work somewhere between how a soft pastelist works and traditional colored pencil techniques with my work. I was also taught that an artist needs to be able to do realism before finding/looking for another voice. That is, one must build an ability in speaking one language before attempting to translate that language into another. Or an artist should have ability with the basic tools and concepts and what has gone before in order to develop further in other artistic ways.

I never was extremely fond of the "photo-realism" which (pre-computers) copied a photograph in a very large format by using the squares or pixels. I did look at this art with a type of fasination at times, however. I just find some of these methods too miopic -- I don't feel I could get in a "zone" using them so exhaustively. However I am wondering if some of the works I currently admire wouldn't be considered more "photorelaistic" than "realistic" in style? I would like to know your opinion regarding this question. Here are some links to some contemporary realistic animal art that gave me chills when I first gazed upon them: a horse portrait on Wet Canvas by Linda Jonsson of Sweden,
and last but, certainly not least, all of the work by Melanie Phillips.

I am currently intrigued with "the bringing to life" aspect of realism. It is an enthralling challenge for me to try to get it right. I am experimenting on developing facility with colored pencil techniques as I do this. I am most in the zone when using hand and eye coordination to develop the work as a whole. I think I am in one of those repitious circles of life by improving my work in the basics and going from there in whatever develops.

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