- Discuss a photograph that takes an existing work of art as its starting point. Write a 500 word reflection
- Re-make an existing work of art using photography.
I developed this exercise by a rather circuitious route.
I have a very interesting book Snapshot : Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard (W.E.Easton (ed) 2011) that looks at early photography and how this was used by many Post-Impressionist artists. These artists made many personal and informal snapshots, some of which were used as an aide towards their painting, printmaking and drawings, similar to the way in which the camera obscura was used by artists in previous centuries. What I noticed in looking through the book again was how the style of some of the photographs – use of light, composition etc were mirrored in their Art, and vice versa. I mused upon what kind of artist I might be if I could paint, having made several attempts to learn over the years, and decided I might probably be an Impressionist. Having written that, though, I do have to acknowledge that I often look for clarity in photographs – not sharpness necessarily but clear distinctions. Maybe that’s two sides of the same coin though.
In June we were due to spend a few days in Honfleur, Normany – a town whose environs (including its port) was very popular with Impressionist painters due to its wonderful light (see here ).
Indeed the painters Gustave Courbet, Eugéne Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind formed the école de Honfleur. and I thought it would be interesting to re-visit the Eugene Boudin Museum, and be inspired by paintings there and what I saw in Honfleur to re-make one of their works. Boudin’s works are famous in Honfleur and one of his views of Honfleur can be seen here on a website dedicated to him. Unfortunately, I arrived there to find that the Museum was closed for ‘works’ until August.
However, I did manage to find a gallery of prints of Eugene Boudin’s work running alongside the walkway to one of the lighthouses in nearby Trouville.
So, I returned home having re-made some existing works of art by photographing photographic prints of oil paintings, in-situ in an outdoor exhibition. Being dissatisfied with that experience I thought some more . As I’ve written previously I have in mind to use my own archive for some of the work during this Module, particularly photographs and letters from the mid to late 1940s and so I decided I would do some internet searches for Yorkshire artists from that period. Some of the work of these painters then reminded me of David Hockney’s work in Yorkshire. This work is later, but, of course, he’s Yorkshire born and bred, as am I, so I decided to re-make one of his works using photography. This led me on to poppies in fields and Assignment 1.
Easton, E.W. (2011) Snapshot: Painters and photography, Bonnard to Vuillard (Phillips collection). United States: Yale University Press.