Studio Tour (8)

Before I began to use a digital camera, I had to store prints and negatives. Now, thank heavens, I can store all images on my hard drive and back them up with CD's.

If I could wave a magic wand I would convert all these stored photo files to digital and cut my storage space way down.

These boxes are full of slides and slide trays. Aaaaaaargh!

There is some great reference material here but the pictures are nearly impossible to access. Aaaaaargh again!

I am sorry I took all these dumb slides as someday I will have to figure out a way to convert them into digital files without wasting two years of my life. I cannot bear to toss this rich visual material out. And aaaaaaaargh yet again!

I don't use natural daylight any more as it changes so rapidly and the angle I prefer only appears once a day - if our New England weather cooperates. 

In shooting Still Life and Portraits I like the control of a movable (single) light source.

Because of the settings on my digital camera, I can make my colors accurate no matter what kind of lighting equipment I choose to use.

So why don't I "paint from life" like most people claim that every artist should do? Maybe I just like "breaking the rules" but have a couple of other reasons too.

I have had poor vision since birth. In fact, my left eye doesn't work much at all and my right eye gets a little bit worse each year. 

Has this hurt me as an artist? I don't think so. But it has made it necessary for me to work from reference photographs. Over the years I have figured out how to do this rather successfully. You really cannot paint a good painting from a poor if you're gonna be an artist, I would suggest that you learn to use a camera.

In order to draw and paint from life I need to be a decent distance from my subject matter in order to see it all. Since I cannot see from any distance at all, I must rely on my photos for reference.

Also, I am primarily a portrait painter. It is difficult for a person to sit the necessary long hours in order for me to paint them. A long inconvenient (for the sitter) session can result in a boring grumpy expression - especially since I personally enjoy working late into the night.

Can you imagine asking a small child to pose and sit still for a long time? Yikes! A good photo shoot takes all of one day - and maybe two. I use a strobe to capture "moving" children and give them plenty of breaks.

Every artist must take their own photos in order to call their work "original." It is a "no-no" to copy someone else's pictures unless you obtain permission and give credit to the photographer.

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