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Photo-Based Art Emulating natural-media painting techniques

Here's your chance to defend your art form.

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Old 03-06-2003, 07:54 AM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback on this topic!

The work you folks do takes my breath away so to me it's art!

A couple of years ago my Mother was gravely ill in the hospital. To distract her from her serious condition I would take along various craft projects when I went to visit her. One of the "crafts" I was pursuing at the time was "one stroke painting". My efforts proved that not everyone can produce realistic looking flowers using this "tried and true" methodology. One day when I went to visit Mom, I took along one of my pathetic efforts thinking that we could share a good laugh over my imeptitude.

Mom was moved by my "painting" in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Rather than laughing over it as I expected, we had a long discussion about the placement on the page, the form of the petals - Mom "saw" something in that imperfect mess that was beyond my comprehension. Was it art? Yes, in my opinion it was. It raised emotion in the viewer; it got a response.

I apologise for the heading I used for this thread. Your art form needs no defense!

Take care, Margaret
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Old 03-06-2003, 08:13 AM
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clare clare is offline
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Originally posted by jeaniesa
1. a. The activity of creating beautiful things. b. Works, such as painting or poetry, resulting from such activity.
An interesting question, when I first saw this thread I was going to head for the dictionary but thanks to Jeanie I just had to continue reading

My question is this,

If art is only produced on canvas and computer generated images are not art, then would people consider that poetry typed into a computer rather than written down by hand is any less a poem and a piece of art?

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Old 03-06-2003, 08:13 AM
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chiquitita chiquitita is offline
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Computer art is subjective, just like anything else. I see very expensive paintings that I think are total crap, but somebody must like them. Same with computer art - it is just a different medium. Look some of the art that is in modern galleries in big cities - you have people peeing on things and calling it art. If you define art, then I think it ceases to be art... maybe.
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Old 03-06-2003, 09:40 AM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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If you define art, then I think it ceases to be art... maybe.
I like that quote - do you mind if I pass that one on to my son??

I agree with you.

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Old 03-06-2003, 11:06 AM
Pam Pam is offline
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This same argument was made not too many years ago about photography. Then Ansel Adams' "Moonrise" print became the benchmark for the new "Art Photography" market. Now there are many deep-pocketed patrons collecting fine photographic prints.

Ansel's tools were light, chemicals and an enlarger. Our tools are a photo, a computer and a printer. He manipulated his prints well beyond what the negative documented. We do the same. The tools are different, the ends are the manipulate reality into an artistic view.

I personally think that art can take many forms. Don't forget the fight that "performance artists" had in getting their art recognized as such. It's my belief that, in the end, the image, music, painting, or sand castle stands alone, without description or details as to how the artist constructed, manipulated or created it. At that point is when it should be considered "art" or not "art". When I see an Ansel print hanging in a museum/gallery, I do not see, on the descriptor, "Contrast adjustments with a combination of X film, Y paper and Z developer, extensive burning and dodging." No one asks about the tools or manipulation method used. It simply says "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941 Gelatin Silver Print".

I do think there are valid longevity questions involved with digital art. Print life is being increased almost monthly. Once those issues are under control, I think digital art will come of "age".


Last edited by Pam; 03-06-2003 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 03-06-2003, 11:08 AM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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I'll throw my 2 cents in!

During my brief stint in graduate school (for studio art) I had this same discussion with several professors and was amazed to discover that none of them had a clue what digital art was really about. In fact, several of them dismissed it as "non-art"! Of course, these same professors barely knew how to turn on a computer let alone make art with one, so they had no real basis to argue from in the first place. The general consensus among them was that "the computer does all the work"...but anyone who spends any time with a computer understands that it's not that easy. I think that attitude comes more from a fear of the unknown than any logical argument against computer art.

For me, digital art and digital printmaking are very similar to the advent of recorded music or the printing press. 600 years ago fine art was accessible only to the very rich or the church. When the printing press was invented it allowed artists, such as Albrecht Durer, to create multiple copies of prints and sell them at much lower costs than one-of-a-kind originals. This allowed the European middle class to now afford art. I think digital art is just an extension of that printmaking tradition and allows far more people to not only enjoy making art but to purchase it. I can create an original image and run an edition of 100 Giclee prints...and I can sell each of those prints at a far cheaper price that I would one of my paintings. The fine art world is still very much dominated by powerful galleries/museums and rich patrons. As an artist, I would much rather cut the middle man and be able to sell my work for less money to a much larger audience. Digital art combined with Digital printing (such as Giclee) allows artists to do that and perhaps some people fell threatened by that.

This is going off on a tangent...but I find it fascinating that the computer and other digital tools (cameras, scanners) are changing our perception of what art is. More and more people are creating art (just look at how fast the Photo Art forum grew!) and it's becoming part of their daily lives...almost a daily ritual for many! The "Western tradition" of art is that it's something to be viewed in galleries and museums and only a certain elite can create it. In other cultures, art is much more of a daily activity and everyone participated (you could probably make the same comparison with music). I think we are moving more in that direction and it's no wonder that those in the "ivory tower" (like a few of my professors) are can be very resistant to things like computer art.

I should stop typing now...or I will go on an on...
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Old 03-06-2003, 11:40 AM
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themanda themanda is offline
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My mother does wonderful portraits in oil and chalk. For as long as I can remember, she's painted. It took her a long time to learn her craft, and a long time to finish each individual portrait. She tried to teach me how to paint, once, as a teenager and it turned out that at the time I had very little interest in it.

Now I'm starting to fill my home with prints of my own doing in photo-art and even some original digital art. I think they're quite good! I don't think I'm ready to open my own digital studio yet, but this, like everything, takes practice and patience.

My mother saw my work and immediately dismissed it as not being "real". To her, this is little more than a cute hobby that's pretending to be art. I could tell that she *really* disliked what I'd done. (My mother and I have a very good relationship, so this isn't a parental power struggle or anything...just a fundamental difference of opinion.)

Her basic arguement was that anyone could do this if they had the right tools and knew how to use them. That's pretty much my arguement for traditional painting, too, but she doesn't see the irony in the statement.

I know that no matter what I did, or what I said, or how fabulous my productions were, they would NEVER be equal to art on a canvas for her. Oddly enough, though, she really admires my web and *graphic* creations as a graphic designer...but she can't allow that same line to be blurred into the realm of art.

My opinion is that art is art, regardless of how it is created.
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Old 03-06-2003, 02:50 PM
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chiquitita chiquitita is offline
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Go ahead ... Your son won't worry about having little debates like that once he gets out of college and into the real world for a while. (College is just an extension of high school.)

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Old 03-08-2003, 03:01 PM
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Schwartzie Schwartzie is offline
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Art is in the eye of the beholder I guess. I have done traditional art and photography for many years. I consider taking one of my photos and "artifying" it a legitimate if maybe not so creative, a way of producing artwork. I consider photography an art form in itself just as music is an artform separate from painting. and within these catagories are many subcatagories.
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Old 03-08-2003, 06:31 PM
heathrowe heathrowe is offline
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very good discussion here

i often feel like your son, sometimes

ive been a Natural Visual artist for along time and have only recently jumped on the Photshop/Illustrator trail (past 3 years)
and i catch myself with with a frown (we all have - admit it) at some digital art becuase i get the feeling that the only effort put into the piece was a simple cut copy paste blend here and there with a slap of font on top of it --- fine in its self and for a purpose or cause and for that id rather much appreciate it more....

web design requires manipulation of sorts and that was my first exposure for its use -- and now that ive discovered myself as a digital artist beside normal web design, i still have the quirk of not using photos in all of my posts or even in my playground gallery at my site, as some of have seen....

soon -- i suppose

if im not making any sense - just hit me over the head with a photograph

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