Take a Picture or Paint?


Designed by me, printed on an old school press (lithography press) so the image quality was AMAZING. If you have a printing company you work with ask if they have a litho press and us it for important jobs. The images are always much better, think vector quality smoothness.

Today I picked up my business cards from the print shop.  I am super pleased with how they turned out.  One more thing to cross off my to do list. 

On my way back home I stopped off at the Mat Hat Tea House for a cup of Earl Grey (my fave.)  While I was waiting for my beverage I talked to the employees about tea and another customer joined in (add a 1/2 tsp of sugar to 8-10 oz earl grey to bring out the floral notes.)  Luck would have it he was looking for artists to put some work in a show.  Within 10 minutes of getting my business cards I have a new contact, a possible client and someone that wants to show my art (go me!)

On my way home I got to thinking about the different kinds of picture artist.  Digital, abstract, surreal, realistic, photo real, photographers, paper cutters and so many others.  I was thinking about what makes them different and similarities, the different skill levels and view points that make a person choose to do the different types.


I took this photo with my cell. I wanted to remember the peace I felt at the end of my walk. What does it make you think of?

This came to mind as I thought about the pieces I could do that express my artistic vision, skill and fit within the topic requested. I wanted to plan something that shows my skills as a photographer and painter.  I paint mostly in a surreal style, incorporating a lot of feeling and instinct into my images.  When I want express a view of reality I take photos, when I want to express a feeling about reality I paint. I think that an artist has more control over the image if they paint it themselves.  Because photos rely on technology, the photographer and the subject they can come out unexpectedly.

Even if I were to take a photo and make it into a painting the response would be very different.  Photos are a way of showing the world what you see, with your eyes.  Capturing a second in time that is meant to invoke an emotional or logical response (depending on the photo’s subject) as the viewer process the image.  Paintings and digital art make attempt to invoke an emotional response, before the viewer finishes looking at the piece, a gut reaction or instinctive reaction.


If you are not familiar with color psychology I recommend looking into it. More than the shape of something the color a shape is can make us feel a certain way about it. Red shames are going to make people edgy, while blue shapes make people relaxed. There is a reason why hospitals were green for a long time. Schools used to be a mix of yellows and blues, depending on the subject being taught. It is really interesting and worth research.

As someone who is also interested in marketing, I am VERY interested in how people respond to colors and shapes.  I plan everything I do when I paint or create a graphic.  Photography is about the only time I do things on impulse.  You only have a micro second to get that amazing shot, and our brains are already a few seconds behind.  Even though you can think and plan a shot (usually still life or landscape) the second you bring moving objects into the mix you have to know the area and the movement patterns of your subjects. Once you know and understand the key elements behavior you can go on instinct to get those good and quickly paced shots.

Painting is significantly different.  You get to plan the whole thing, start to finish.  Composition is key to get the response you want.  Using shape, color, flow, and all the other “rules” you can slowly create a masterpiece that will last for ages.  Ultimately you have absolute control when you paint.  The only restrictions you have is your skill level. 


Reach, acrylic on canvas. I wanted to show my desire to move beyond where I was to a new level. Plants grow and these guys are growing from a dim, dark place to a vibrant and exciting blue place. Who knows what colors are past the blue.

 I like to include my view in my paintings.  Even though they are of real things, things I have seen in photos, I add the twist of what my emotional  response was. The painting to the right was done out of a desire to be more motivated.  To get out of a rut and move on.  It is a fairly straight forward image.  Even though everyone is going to interpret it differently, most people will get the idea that is is meant to show growth, transitioning from darkness to light.  An image like this would be very difficult (for me anyway) to do as a photograph.   Being restricted to real things can be a problem sometimes.

I could go on about this topic for a while.  I have been typing for an hour now, trying to get my abstract thoughts and emotions into clear words that have an understandable flow.  Sometimes it is hard for me to put the images in my mind into words for others to read and think about.

I want to spark  thoughts in your mind.  What do you think, feel and understand when you create things?  What messages are you trying to convey with your creations? 

Art does not have to be thoughtless. You can control some of the responses that your viewers experience.





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