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.