Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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01/07/2005: "Taking source photographs for paintings"

My friend Julie stopped by tonight after hockey practice. She's agreed to pose for me this weekend while I take some photographs for the show that I'm working on that has to do with blue grass instruments and the female form. So, problem is, I don't have many bluegrass instuments personally. I was hoping the proprietor of the local string shop would let me take some shots in his shop.

She'll hold the instrument, I'll position her and then take photos. I might also need to bring my easle lamp to try and get more dramatic shadows. I want to play around with extreme perspectives and ciaroscuro etc. I hope the owner is cooperative. I remember when I first got my guitar I called him to ask if he'd help me tune it because I didn't know how and he acted like I was a freak.

I'll be sure to call and clear it with him first. If that doesn't work out, I can make some rough models of the instruments for her to hold, mostly it's the positions themselves, how the hands are held, the kneck, etc. I can always photoshop the instruments into the thumbnails after the fact if I need to.

So, taking a poll, how many people work from photographs, how many work from thumbnail sketches, and how many just pull stuff fresh from their noggins? I'm a little bit of column A. and a little bit of column C.

I'm worried because these paintings are still not clear in my mind yet. I'm hoping that if I shoot the photos, the painting images will be along shortly.

I haven't been drawing much since I've been back, I have started back to my step aerobics class though. Damn I'm in crappy shape. Oh yah, I'm going to buy a HealthMate Jr. air cleaner for my studio. It supposedly takes POVs out of the air from solvents etc. I think Jackie reccommended some system awhile back but I can't remember, and I really need something if I want to keep working with oils. Particularly since I'm going to be working more with turpentine and other mediums and I can't open the windows in the winter. (all my skrimping with the heat has really paid off though, my oil bill was almost half of what it was when I used to actually keep my place warm).

Which reminds me, I'm back into knitting again. Making scarves for presents as it's the only thing I know how to make besides pointy hats.

Hmmm, it was nice getting to hang out and drink beers with Julie tonight. I'm still a little buzzed actually. We listened to one of the CDs I got from my Mixed CD Project of last year (ask me if you want to participate) and the music sounds *really* good. Like when you can feel it in your chest, similar to the sensation of warmth that radiates down your throat and into your tummy after drinking a glass of red wine.

mmmm, red wine tastes good.

Replies: 5 Comments

on Friday, January 7th, Dio said

There's a lot of snobbery about using pgotographs as source material, so I'm quite happy to make them the main source of my work, with a liberal dash of noggin generated stuff. :)

on Friday, January 7th, Elise said

Really? I didn't know that using photos as source material is looked down on. I wonder why?

I mean getting a good photo you still have to set up the composition, the lighting, etc. And not everyone can afford to hire someone to sit for them for hours at a time.


Anyway Dio, it's good to know there are other low class renegades out there!


on Saturday, January 8th, RR said

I'm a low class renegade too. Photos mostly and the odd sketch, less of the noggin - which is probably why my stuff is so bad!!! Hey Elise I started knitting again too. My kids are into the chunky scarves that are in the shops over here at the moment and rather than pay for them I've got all maternal and taught them how to knit - except I'm still doing the purl rows for them!!! But they are getting better and will get the hang of it soon - i hope :laugh:

on Sunday, January 9th, Howard said

I don't think there's a problem with using your own photos as source material. It's just another reference tool.

on Monday, January 10th, Elise said

Hi RR!
Teaching your kids to knitt must be really fun. I love it, it's relaxing and makes me feel less guilty about watching mindless television.

As for the photographs, I think you're right Howard, I mean, photography is its own art form and as long as you're using your own work I think it's no different than working from sketches or from life.