Sunday, July 09, 2006

Not Qite An Angel


This is an example of a hybrid art form that I've been involved with, neither strict painting or straight photography, but a fusion of both. It is a collaborative artform. The image is concieved of, a model is chosen, I bring in props, ( in this case yards of light, diaphinous cloth ), the photographer sets up light, wind and camera position as I want and then we see what'll happen! In this case I was working with one of my favorite models, Irina, (who is also featured in several of my Forces of Nature series). She is one of those rare models who seems to intuit what I'm after and express it with her movements. It's theater, dance, silent movies, all rolled into an hour of intense activity! I'm very glad to be working with photographers now, who use digital cameras, allowing the shots to be seen almost instantly. This is such a huge help over the way it was back in the dark days of film! Then we hoped and prayed that what we saw was what we'd get when the pictures were developed.
When I first started using photgraphs as reference in my paintinngs I tended to feel what I call, "Art Guilt ", which was a general sense that I was cheating by not painting from my imagination or life only. I couldn't resist photos, though and when I began doing illustrations, using them as reference became second nature. I don't feel Art Guilt much anymore, but am occaisionally reminded of the feeling when I meet an "Art Purist" . These people are seldom producers of mush art themselves, but frown, sneer and look down on any artform they see as impure. I suspect their very strict standards actually prevent them from creating most of the time.
Today I was reminded of Art Purity when I tried to list this Blog on a site that said, "No Photographs!" It started me thinking. Would they see this image, for instance, as a photograph? Probably. And yet, the shots didn't look like this before I started working with one of them, changing, painting, adding and subtracting. It's not really a painting, though, I will agree.

6 comments:

Amber Jennell said...

Firstly, may I say 'Wow'. I love this piece. The colors are amazing. Truly amazing.

Second (and perhaps with longer sentences this time). Wonderful work. I have seen some of your book covers (the Seraphim cover was amazing) and am in aww of your talent. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I hope to see your art on may more covers (perhaps even my own some day).

Have a great week,
Amber

james Griffin said...

Thanks for the compliments! It means a lot to have you look at my work. Are you a writer?

Mark Penny said...

There's art and there's artistry. There's the technique and there's the result. I don't think art is about doing things a certain way. It's about achieving a level of impact through a symbolic medium. So, for me, the question of whether it's a photograph or a painting is stuffy nonsense. Does it work? That's the question.

james Griffin said...

Hi Mark. I agree completely! We all suffer from our various "stuffy nonsense". It's part of an artist's work to overcome that background noise. Thanks for your comment!

Cassondra said...

This is a gorgeous piece of art.

I've come to your site because I'm a friend of Christine Wells---you've done her cover for Scandal's Daughter (2007 release) and now for The Dangerous Duke (we haven't seen this one yet) and once I saw your work I couldn't stop looking. What a gift you have!

I wasn't going to comment until I read what you wrote about those who naysay the works of others but don't create much themselves. You're right. And sometimes we who do want to work find ourselves stopped by their naysaying. I'm so glad you carry on.

Without amazing artists like you, our books would likely sit on the shelves and never be read. It's your lovely images that lure the readers.

I'm not published yet, but perhaps when I am, I'll be lucky enough to have you paint one of my covers. That's something to dream of indeed!

James Griffin said...

Hi Cassondra, You're right about not listening to the naysayers, and that includes the discouraging voices we carry around inside. Frank assessment and positive criticismof your work is a good thing, but it's way too easy to find yourself being convinced by others you can't do it. You can! Congratulations for continuing on and I hope I can do one of your covers, too!