Sunday, December 14, 2008
The sun refused to cooperate today and was doing that really annoying "now I am shining, now I'm not" thing so today's painting was from a photo I took when visiting my mother and sister where they live in southern Spain. Ronda is one of their nearest sizeable towns (they live in the isolated white villages in the Andalucian mountains). This is the view north from the bridge in Ronda - the most amazing view down the canyon to the fields and vineyards beyond. Ronda is one of my favourite little towns in Spain and despite the tourism it has maintained a wonderful charm. The history dates back to the Moorish conquests of Spain and the buidlings are old and picturesque. (photo of the painting is not quite accurate - the background is more neutral and the rocks to the right are much brighter but try as I might I cannot get an accurate photo.)
I have for the past two years, not allowed myself to paint from photos (except portraits) and I know that I have learnt an enormous amount in working from life. I've been very aware of the limitations of photographic references but recently I have read a lot about using photos as a tool. On one site an artist said he only ever uses photos he took himself because he knows the space and the photo acts more as an aide memoire than anything else which made immediate sense to me. While I will continue to try to work predominantly from life, I will forgive myself, on days like today, when I use a photo reference.