Monday, February 29, 2016

Painting Is A Lot Easier Than Photography

OK, before painters out there become aghast by such a heretical statement let me add the qualifier, in my experience.

When I speak of photography I specifically refer to the type of photography I have spent the last twenty years trying to perfect. My mission with my photography has been to capture nature, naturally as the consummate impressionist painter, sculptor and most skilled artist that ever existed. The trick to accomplishing my mission is it's more about finding the art works than it is about photography. Although, having some skill in this area is quite helpful.

I bet if I actually worked at it, like I do my photography, I could pump out 4 pretty paintings per week easy. That's 208 paintings per year. I'm lucky if I get 15 photographs that make the grade to be included in my fine art photography collections. Most people probably think photography is much less labor intensive than painting. It certainly isn't the way I do it. I drive thousands of miles on highways and byways. I walk thousands of miles down country roads and hiking trails. I think of myself as a hunter and finding my illusive prey is my skill.

The other thing I love about painting is that it's so forgiving. A painter is free to tweak color, object size, subject placement, composition, lighting and just anything you want.  With photography, as I practice it, I must find the perfect image and capture it. It's quite true in today's digital world you can edit your photographs in so many ways you hardly need a photograph at all. I don't believe in photo editing beyond what I could have once done in a wet darkroom. To do anything else would defeat my purpose which is to show nature's true artistry not my own.

Just like hunting, in the traditional sense, being able to hit the target is only half the challenge. One needs to have an "eye" for it. To be able to pick out the target in it's natural environment is more important than being able to take the shot. You can't shoot anything if you can't find it. Of course, traditional hunting, in many places, has gone the way of photography taking much of the art of it out with artificial props. Hunters sit in blinds waiting for some hapless creature to come along and then blast it. The greatest skill those guys exhibit is being able to sit there hour after hour. I'd go berserk. Hunt is a verb. Verbs are supposed to describe action.

I have couple of examples for you. First up is Eel  Lake. An experienced painter could easily paint this photo in under in a couple of hours. But, it took me days maybe months to actually find it as it occurred in nature.

Eel Lake - Digital Photograph
Next is something I call Ice Puppets. Not only was this shot the result of days of hunting but hunting in in 15 degree weather. Painters have no idea how easy they have it working in their nice warm studios.

Ice Puppets - Digital Photograph
Both of the above images are always being mistaken for paintings when hanging on a wall. The image below is one of my paintings. Kind of hard to tell the difference.  To be able to take photographs of nature in the way that I do, now that's real skill.

Dark Forest - Acrylic Painting

No sir, I think this painting thing is living the life of luxury. You don't have to trek to find your subjects, you can just make them up. You can paint things just as you want them utilizing any color you can conceive. If you make a mistake you can paint right over it. If you don't like the position of something you can just move it. And, you can do it from the comfort of your studio. I'm beginning to think my brand of photography is for masochists. It's certainly going to be replacing photography for my winter pursuit of artistic expression.

©Kinsey Barnard
The Liberated Photography

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My First Painting Class

I started my painting journey last November. I haven't taken any art classes preferring to find my own way while utilizing the incredible resources available on the internet. I have always thought self knowledge is the most important knowledge one can possess. One thing I know for sure is that I am pretty much unteachable. I have to find my own way or I am lost.

I recently came across a painting class called Tipsy Brush. The idea being you bring your own wine and tipple whilst you paint. I found this a most excellent idea so I enlisted  the company a friend to go with.

The class lasted about three hours and was just as much fun as I thought it would be. But, with or without tippling I can't make myself copy someone else's style. I tried, I really did but the painting we were asked to copy held no interest for me in the way it was being painted. The painting was representational and I just have no interest in that sort of painting. I got so irritated trying I nearly polished off the wine.

I expressed my frustration to my painting pal and she told me to quit trying, just do what you want. Those words made me respond like a racehorse at the starting gate. Away I went! I did use the model as my foundation and used the colors provided. The colors I liked. From that point on my painting just went where it wanted to go which is, for better or worse, how all my paintings go.

There were fourteen people in the class, many of whom had never painted anything. As I looked around the room I was utterly amazed by their results. I don't think there was a single person that did not create a painting they could be proud of. My pal had never painted anything before and her painting looked great! I think this says a lot of complementary things about the instructor.

At the end the instructor walked around the room looking at each persons' work. I was stuffed in a corner, where I generally hideout in a classroom hoping no one discovers I'm there. I was hoping she might miss me cuz my painting was definitely my own. I was embarrassed to show it to her. She took one look at it and said, "Oh, how Van Gogh".  She could not have said anything more flattering if she had tried.

Some might say I am lazy, undisciplined or self-indulgent.  Lazy not so much but undisciplined and self-indulgent oh yeah! I have no intention of selling my paintings. I am following my art, aka my heart, for my own enjoyment. I am covering my walls with my paintings and enjoying them everyday. Honestly, I don't think I could bear to let any of them go. Some day, when I get a bigger inventory and no more room on my walls, I will enjoy giving them as gifts. So, without further ado here is the painting.

Midnight Mountains
©Kinsey Barnard
The Liberated Photographer

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In the Forest of My Imagination

In the Forest of My Imagination
This is another example of me painting my imagination at work. I really love to do this kind of painting because I have no idea where I am going. I just lose myself in the colors and the rest just kind of appears.

©Kinsey Barnard

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dark Forest

Dark Forest

I am a color junky but sometimes I find the absence of it rather intriguing. This particular abstract painting was inspired by one of my photographs. This painting is less my imagination and more something I once saw saw.

©Kinsey Barnard