Day 17

While today’s piece is a digitally altered photograph I took on the way home from a trip to visit Mom in Newark today, let it be known henceforth that I claim NO photography skills. I’m also aware that any jackass can click the ‘invert colors’ option in your typical image editor. On top of that, I’m known to be spiteful towards graphic designers, photographers and printmakers in general for the sole reason that they’re able to make art or multiple copies quickly and easily, whereas I cannot do that with painting. “Why not get into graphic design/printmaking/photography then, Marianne?” you may be asking. And I have to reply, “Well, that’s not really my choice. Painting picked me.” At least, that’s how I see it.

One of my professors at CCAC, Roy Tomlinson, was on the panel for my junior review. He asked me a question that has stuck with me since- “Why painting?”. I didn’t really have an answer then. I love the colors, the flexibility of paint, the ability to manipulate it,  but there’s also something tactile about it that I need. I need to touch it. And I’ll be damned if I know why, I just do.

I’d be curious to hear from other people who are passionate about something. I’d love to ask a collector, “why gnome garden ornaments?”. And somehow I get the feeling that the answer would more likely be, “I don’t know, there’s just something about them” as opposed to “I used to have a crush on this dude with a white beard and pointy red hat, and these pieces are an ode to that unrequited romance”.

To be fair, I don’t have a permanent hate on for all graphic artists. There are plenty of photographers I love. Trish Tunney, for example, is a photographer based in San Francisco who has an amazing eye for colorful, urban compositions that I am continually enamored with. Alex Darocy is a photographer out of the Santa Cruz area who creates stunning, vibrantly colored and thought provoking macro images. And a friend of mine, Todd Bennett, is an extremely talented and tireless graphic  designer who works magic for companies worldwide. So I’m not a cold, crotchety paint-snob.

Plus I think my complete lack of skill with photos really helps me get images to work from when it comes to paintings. This shot of the refineries in Benicia could easily become a painting someday.

One thought on “Day 17

  1. bluebicicletta says:

    oh, pshah—how dare you say you have no photography skills—I see the photographs on this blog, and they are gorgeous!

    Hmm. Why do I do drawing, in black pen specifically? I think something you said on my blog recently is part of it—I draw partially because it is instant gratification—you put pen to paper and there it is. I recently had someone ask me in a blog interview why I choose to omit color. My response was, I never really decided to “omit” color—I just love love love black on white. I say this a lot: I love putting black lines on white paper. I think that sums it up—the putting down of the lines + the visual high contrast. Also, it’s the simplicity and the drama.

    Black and white photography used to be my main medium—and I loved the idea of simplifying things, and the richness of the tones.

    Also, as you say—painting just picked you—what I do just picked me, or just showed up one day. It was just what I did. Who knows. It is the mystery that keeps us makers on our toes.

    Lastly, I too would like what draws the gnome collector to the gnome. ‘Tis a thought-provoking question.


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