Second Hand Art (Virtual Exhibition #2)
In my introductory virtual exhibition I posted some original compositions. This post contains paintings which are copies of other artists' works. As a student and amateur artist, I have made many copies over the years, true and inspired - of real objects, human beings, photographs and other artists' works as my model. The exercise is akin to penmanship - for practice and to improve drawing skills and techniques. Occasionally, a copy turns out to be so satisfactory, that happily it becomes a work of art worth preserving . I display them in my home for my own enjoyment and am doing so now on the blog, for yours. These pictures are testimony to my skills as an illustrator, much like a billborard artist - not my artistic flair. I have spoken with those in the know about the wisdom of putting them out for public consumption. They assure me that as long as I do not offer such art for sale or claim them as my own, I am not violating any ethical boundaries, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery .. etc.
When I started painting at Joan Furrow's studio in Omaha in late 1992, I was for the first time, working seriously with oil paint. Joanie advised me to start off with a few copies of actual paintings to get a handle on the color, texture and proper brush strokes. All the paintings shown here are from assorted magazines that cluttered Joanie's library. Unfortunately, I did not make a note of the artists' names. So I cannot credit any one properly except to say that these are not my own compositions. I selected the pictures for different reasons but each appealed to me on the basis of subject matter, appropriate level of complexity and artistic quality. They are not reproductions in a technical sense because I did not measure out the originals in grids for exact proportions. I drew them from visual perception as closely as possible. But they are all good enough copies that if you saw the originals somewhere, you'd probably recognize them. The paintings are oil on canvas and they hang in my home. So enjoy some one else's art vicariously - channeled through me.
This was the first full painting I made at Joanie's. I selected it for the depth of the perspective, colors and composition. The impressionistic style of drawing made it easier to avoid making glaring mistakes. I liked the criss-crossing of light and shadow on the dusty street.
I was struck by the two heads against a stark background, warm colors and the mysterious play of shadows on the faces of the women. The painted pots were good practice in drawing perfect 3-D shapes and the intricate designs required control and careful use of brush.
Again, I chose the picture for its interesting subject (a horse & a rider are never boring), the cyan colors invoking deep twilight shadows and the rocky, stark look. The special challenge was to get the horse right from the front facing, foreshortened angle - always the hardest perspective for drawing four legged animals.
For my next "exhibition," I will post a couple of inspired copies which are based on photographs in magazines like the National Geographic, Life and sometimes even scientific magazines. But in the process of painting, they evolved enough to become distinctly my own. I will end the art series with a few more of my originals. Please don't hesitate to leave me a comment.
(This post is being recycled - I had published it more than a year ago. I am bringing it to the front for new readers and also because I have no other blogworthy idea for today.)