PHOTOGRAPHY TO EN SITU & DAVID HOCKNEY
Photography used to be instrumental, in processing visually, the first contact between the Landscapes and deducing a concept behind the production of a painting. However this process has developed for me over recent years, towards En Situ painting and with it, the adoption of a far more organic approach, to experiencing and representing the land, through visual interpretation. I'm able to perceive the Landscape at its highest most poignant reality, which the photograph merely distils.
En Situ, the Landscape artist is open to the natural elements and the atmosphere, becoming far more integrated into the decision making, the emphasis of eliminating the surplus extraneous variables, leaving behind the necessary, with what it perceived to be the ultimate, in terms of narrative of their journeys and explorations.
The challenge of painting En Situ is harder than one might think; there is a necessity to learn patience, not only in an adaption to this new Land, which prescribes numerous exploration to comprehend it, but patience with the process of painting, it may not come to fruition straight away; and the artist must study and assume the role of the flaneur, being forever inquisitive about their surroundings, until, finally they may obtain the ability to respond succinctly to the Land surrounding them.
The attention devoted towards the actual painting is extensive, the perspective and composition takes a lot of the artist’s focus, to try and provide accurate foundations, from which colour detail and mark making can be intensified.
However the more time and concentration the artist devotes to these En Situ representations, the increased knowledge of what it means to represent the Land and how to represent it is elaborated, and with further practice and engagement, the En Situ studies become more intricate and a truer depiction of reality. As I have witnessed, my larger studio pieces have become more challenged in their aesthetics, a freer approach has been adopted, they are less restricted to simply re representing what has already been accounted for, they expand upon it.
There has been a role reversal between the scales of the visual outcomes. The smaller En Situ pieces have become more particular, intricate and accurate and the larger pieces have become more abstract and dynamic. I believe this is an effective change, the En Situ pieces need to condensed full of insightful information, about the landscape which I have explored, so that as much visual material, as possible, is available for me to utilise. The more painting I carry out En Situ, I become more self-assured of my actions and so the most recent ones show this more confident approach.
The larger pieces, as a result, have had to emphasise the formal qualities of composition and structure a lot less, you already have an incredibly detailed and accurate view from the smaller pieces and so this has allowed me to think less about the final outcome being a direct representation and allowing more of an interpretation. To try and engage more inquisitively with colour, form, shape, composition, texture and the layers of the land, in a way it becomes more adventurous, because there’s less restriction and so every mark is to narrate a completely different visual to that of the En Situ piece it corresponds to. They aim to incorporate the basic visuals, it’s still familiar, though an imaginative expansion, whereby the possibilities are less final and distinctive, it becomes a far more elaborate engagement with paint, from which a final outcome will come to fruition.
Photography still plays an integral role in the development of the painting, photographing the paintings throughout, gives me an impression of how they are progression, and perhaps a more objective focus on what aspects might need developing further. Furthermore I've been able to really document the painting process and the fun that I'm having with the exploration and manipulation of the paint, as shown in the PAINTERS PALETTE SERIES.
The man-made process of photography is better acquainted to this documentation aspect, especially in regards to painting, it allows for the artist to utilise, as a means of communication, with the man-made process of painting. Rather than compressing the natural Landscape and reducing it to a ‘sum of its parts’ methodology, through distilling it, as photography of the landscape often does, it can be used to represent a painting, because the enormity of a singular painting, is by no scale, as vast as the enormity of landscape, so the painting isn't perhaps lost in translation, or becomes as much a totality Detotalized, as the real landscape would become through photograph.
DAVID HOCKNEY: INSIGHTFUL QUOTES
Martin Gayford, A Bigger Message Conversations with David Hockney (London: Thames & Hudson, 2011), 53.
“We think that the photograph is the ultimate reality, but it isn't because the camera sees geometrically. We don’t. We see partly geometrically but also psychologically. If I glance at the picture of Brahms on the wall over there, the moment I do he becomes larger than the door. So measuring the world in a geometrical way is not that true.”
Martin Gayford, A Bigger Message Conversations with David Hockney (London: Thames & Hudson, 2011), 50.
“I always knew that you couldn't draw from them very well, because you couldn't see and feel volume in the same way you can in life.”
Martin Gayford, Introduction to A Bigger Message Conversations with David Hockney (London: Thames & Hudson, 2011), 11.
“A two-dimensional surface can easily be copied in two dimensions. Its three dimensions that are hard to get onto two. That involves making a lot of decisions. You have to stylize it or something, interpret it. You've got to accept the flat surface.”
Thank You & Enjoy
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