Friday, August 26, 2011

Does Fine Art Infuence Photography

For me this is a resounding YES!
Painting, sculpting all influence what I want to both photograph and to actually paint. 
It is a double-dip  Gift.
Kat Sloma invited us to visit galleries and art museums this week. We were to think about what we are attracted to and why. What captures our attention. Does or can art  influence our photography?
It is such a broad subject that I have chosen to narrow it down, way down and write several posts on differing points of view.
I would like to start by choosing a single painter, Pierre Bonnard, who has had an impact on me as an artist. I will never become weary of seeing Bonnard's work up close.
Bonnard could be interpreted as an 'impressionist' painter, except he rarely painted from life. He 'interpreted' his paintings through reconstruction...painting as his MIND saw it.
My favorite of his works are interiors, with shadows of people sitting around the perimeters.
His works are filled to overflowing with details. Which is what I want to focus on...details.

Can you find the woman in this idyllic scene? Note the careful positioning of food upon the table. 

The composition is pretty much dead center; but the heavy shadows reach to the right and the bottle to the left.

I find that I, too, like to take photos of the details and especially food. Some shots I set up, but most are more spontaneous, a remembrance of a delicious meal.

Note the heavy shadows on the table.

A fully filled frame, brilliant colors and textures.

Baby eggplants tumbled on a cloth, sun setting, deep shadows.

 The circular bowls are placed closely together. As I post this photo I see for the first time that almost everything is circular. The contrast being the checkered napkin.

 This shot shows a bowl of cantaloupe positioned in front of a painting..very circular with chopsticks pulling the two elements together. 

The next step for me is to take my photos and interpret into paintings.
These are large oil paintings with a common thread of food and congeniality.  They are composites of things I have experienced, seen or imagined. First through photography and influenced by artist's work I deeply admire.

Often a larger oil painting starts as a sketch. The sketches can be spontaneous or by looking through many photographs until I find something inspiring.

I have been truly blessed to have opportunities to experience with all of my senses, original art in galleries and museums through out America and abroad; studying art history; immersing myself in books of art.

All has had a large impact on my does influence what and how I choose to paint and what I choose to photograph. 

Many of the photographs that I take, at that very moment of pushing down the shutter, I am thinking of how to interpret what I am seeing into a painting or sketch.

I hope I can find the time to give other examples....this is my favorite exercise that Kat has given our group.

May all who live along the Eastern corridor be protected as the hurricane approaches. You are in my thought and prayers. 


  1. Sharon, this was very interesting to me on a number of different levels. I like how you use your photos to create compositions to paint. I also paint from my photographs sometimes, but while I'm doing it I become frustrated because the painting doesn't "match" the photo. Why I would want it to, I don't know, because then what would be the point of the painting? When the painting is finished, I'm usually pleased with the result, though it looks little like the original photo. And I'm aware of all this while it's going on, yet I still feel that disappointment with the work in progress, that I'm not better at copying the photo! That's off the topic of photography, but you made me think!

    I think the photo of the lemons and geraniums is my favorite here. Such wonderful color and pattern! I'm looking forward to your further posts on this topic. I'm also curious as to whether you were a painter or a photographer first. ~Lee

  2. I have enjoyed this post and see echoes of Bonnard's style in the pieces you've selected to share. I love how you explain them...and am especially drawn to the 2nd image with the blue tones of lemons and plums? on the plate, and the final cheerful image on yellowish background.
    How cool that you are thinking of what you will paint at the same time you push the shutter. wow. I can't imagine my brain doing that-but, mayber later. I do know I can be out driving, see a sight out the window and my mind says "click" because I know it is a good photograph. Unfortunately one can't stop immediately-and oft the image involves a person passing by a setting. A moment in time.
    Have a great weekend. Looking forward to more of your thoughts.

  3. Wow, you have such an interesting perspective on this. Your photos are beautiful and I love your paintings. The details are something that came out as really important for me too. I love the visual continuity across your work.

  4. This is really interesting, how you can so clearly define your influences and how you can see that in your art and your photography.

  5. Wonderful, wonderful post. You have concluded the same as me - yes, art influences our photography. Photography IS art. I'm glad you enjoyed this assignment so much, and shared such a wonderful summary with the class.

  6. What an inspirational post! Your photos and paintings are stunning. It's a real treat to see how you create, how you use the wonderful skill that you have.

  7. You definitely have the connection between art and photography! Beautiful paintings!


Thank you for taking your time to drop by and leave a note. Warmly, Sharon