The work of the great pioneers in the art of photography have long been a true source of inspiration for me and have been a driving force in my design sensibilities. Studying the simplicity and solidity of their compositions has had a profound impact on the way in which I view my subjects and played significant role in the composition of this painting,“Coffee”, (page 30) .
As I was surveying the subject while deeply squinting to prepare my approach to this work , I could almost see the veiled effect of light that the early photographers so keenly captured. This “veil” softened the forms while pulling together the values, simplifying the shapes and created strength in the design that would have been lost had the shapes been broken up by more value transitions.
The challenge at hand was to continue to see the elements in their simplest essence, so as not to disrupt the simple masses and to create a connected design with the lights as they weaved through the dark background.
While modeling the detail within the larger shapes, the photographs of Clarence White and Edward Steichen whose bold graphic shapes and simplified value patterns flashed through my mind as I continued the work to completion.
While ” Coffee” was the first of many works that had this influence, many more of the works within “Not Far from Home” were created in a similar fashion. Some include, “Leica” (page 112) , “Scarlet” (page 99) and “A Simple Gift” (page 95).
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