Sunday, March 22, 2015

Original Photo for Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting)

This is the photo that I first took at Appleton Farms, the first look at the tree and hillside, and it inspired the painting that I recently finished (see post from March 20). It was late October and we were on a tour of Appleton Farms, to see how cheese is made. There were other people on the tour, it was cold and windy, and the tour guide was moving us along to the dairy barn. But I liked the look of that tree and hillside, so I took a quick picture. I only had time to capture the idea, but didn't have a chance to really set up the shot. So just to make this into a presentable photo (which later became one of my reference photos), I had to crop out the pile of big black tires just beyond the fence. You can also see a bit of a baby carriage (belonging to another tour participant) in the lower left, which also had to be cropped out. Then I adjusted the composition to make it more pleasing, and I had the photo I wanted. Then to get from the reference photo to the painting, I made other changes that went beyond what is possible with photo editing. I adjusted the composition again because to show more of the top of the tree (which I actually had to invent). I adjusted the whole composition for a square format. And I modified the line of trees in the background. To emphasize the main tree, I eliminated a second tree (on the left) and straightened some of the lines of the fence. This is what it means to create a pleasing photo (art) from a quick snapshot of an event, and what it means to create a painting inspired by (but not a copy of) a photo.

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