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I am curious, how many painters, or other mediums of art, use a photograph of the subject matter, to work from.

So many painters, I have encountered, know that they cannot paint quickly enough to get all the work done, on their landscape etc, before the scene changes, light changes etc.

They realize their memory may not be perfect.

Therefore they take a photograph and paint while looking at the photo.

I have been told, this is a common practice. I know, not all are done that way. However a significant amount is.

If this is true, and so many fine art painters, sculptors etc, build from a foundation of photography, why do some painters have such disdain for the photographer and not consider photography Fine Art.

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Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!!

--Chris Fedderson

The answer is simple, "ignorance is bliss."

They don't know what they don't know.  Unfortunately others who have a camera think they are artists.  Some that have an easel and paints think they are artists.  It's not that the potential is not there but the ignorance is enormous and the arrogance as well.

I have been painting for over 50 years.  When folks come into my gallery a common statement is, "you are very talented."  My retort is, "whatever talent I was born with, was long ago eclipsed by the hours of time and experience spent working at my art. It is no different for any art-form.  "Talent is relatively common, talent is just the beginning. Then there are the acres of canvas and 1000"s of hours to learn more than simple talent could ever provide."

Recognizing and embracing, sacrificing to the creative urge is the important thing.  None of the rest matters that much.

In the painters world, watercolors are regarded as a lesser medium than oil paint or acrylic.  Pastel too, seen as a lesser medium.  Both require the same amount of skill and knowledge but are seen differently. Why?  Because it can be physically painted more quickly?  "Click," in a painters world?  I can not answer these questions.  I can only speculate.

There will always be those prone to denigrating others to pump themselves up unfortunately.

If I see a wonderful, piece, perhaps a painting or sculpture. It "moves" me. It seems to pull me in and invoke emotions or causes me to discuss, initiate dialogue or perhaps instills some desire for change. It will have been Art. Likely Fine Art. Even if it costs them 5 cents and took 2 minutes to create.

Larry, you described a bunch of jargon technical terms about photography that the layman doesn’t understand as justification that your medium is equal to that of others. You described your vision and thought process for your artistic spin and composition. Guess what... every other medium has all that...the table maker, the painter etc.

At the end of the day it all comes down to this point. You can create 5 originals, printed and signed within the scope of one day. The woodworker, after planning and composing and blah blah high jargon technical talk then “starts” the long tedious 60 hours spread across 3-4 weeks to create 1 original, as does the painter. It takes multiple months for a table maker to create 5 originals when a photographer, same 5 originals, can be done in time for dinner that night.

Justifying your medium because you have to prethink and plan compositions is not an argument.
It is possible to have a conversation to varying degrees of work that goes into each medium without blurting out that anyone who disagrees with you must be ignorant. Ignorant is bliss.

Why don’t people value Walmart nick-nacks? Why don’t people hold IKEA crap in high regard? Because they know they were mass produced on some stamping machine in 5 minutes and there are 30 more in the back as soon as that one is sold. Let me guess, I’m ignorant because I don’t value the Walmart flashlight a high end luminary dispenser with custom practical application for optimized endurance blah blah [insert jargon the original designer thought about when developing the prototype]. It was stamped out in mass production and I recognize that, and because I recognize that, I must be ignorant.


Your statement "...I recognize that, I must be ignorant...." is rather accurate, if you remove the "I recognize that..." part.

Ignorance is not a crime or a terrible thing. Therefore we don't condemn you for being such. Ignorance is merely a lack of knowledge. Our condemnation of you comes from your unwillingness to learn, as well as, unwillingness or inability to communicate in a respectful, amiable manner.

If you think I can create 5 fine art original works in one day, you are delusional. 

I have spent hours, days, weeks and months, at times to create just one piece, I feel worthy to be a representation of what I value, in my artistic pursuit.

As Robert stated, other artists don't demean his work. Unfortunately as you show here, YOU DO. You try to compare us to Walmart mass produced items. This assures me either:

A) You do NOT have any real knowledge of photography (proven by your lack of understanding of the terminology I expressed).

B) You are deliberately spreading false innuendos in some false concept that this will build you. Likely due to your feelings of inadequacies from your failings at attempting to impersonate a true artist.

all your disdain for Walmart products done on stamping machines, as if they were made in "5 minuets" goes further to show you have no understanding of the engineering that went into accomplishing that task.

Well you have enlightened me...

At least in your case, the disdain some garner for us is not predicated on reason, knowledge, understanding, education nor analysis. 

Instead your's is founded upon irrationality, vindictive intentions, emotional instability, prejudice, low self esteem (justifiable) and need for creating animosity. 

Eat a snickers Larry.  

Im talking about the medium of photography in everything I’ve written and you are directly insulting me as a person.  Go back and reread your post without feeling embarrassed afterwards. That will be a feat.

Photographers go out to their canyon lands and take 30 photos by noon.  They go out to their local reserves and take pictures of birds sitting on a twig. Then pivot, and proceed to take another of a marsh. Again, 30 photos by noon. They go back to their computer and run “the usual” steps of [insert jargon].  After, they pick a few of the top shots.  

You say say it has taken you hours, days, weeks, months to create 1 photo.  Welcome to the club!   From then on, it’s a mouseclick away from endless originals, right?  The rest of the mediums start back at square one, every time.  That’s the difference between mediums. 

Now is is your turn to insult my mother and call me a bunch of derrogatory phrases in the highest vocabulary your thesaurus can muster.


I will try to use little words - for your understanding.

To make it simple. You do not know your a** from a hole in the wall.

You make statements, as if they are fact. Yet you guess, as your statements are lies. 

You state "...Welcome to the club!..." NO! I am not in your club. DAWSIF The club of deplorable, argumentative, worthless, self righteous, ignorant, fools.

You insult photographers, of which I am one. In other posts, prior to these you have done plenty of direct insults, also.

You have yet to realize this is a site for artists... something you will never attain. 

This is a site for deep thinking people who wish to express themselves, constructively, through art.

Not, as you, just vent and try to ridicule others.

You are not capable of intelligent, thought provoking, amiable dialogue. 

Did you ever think... this is why you have found, you need to keep your mouth shut with the potential customers... they DON'T LIKE YOU ! 

You already discovered that, you just have not accepted it yet.

Now, many on this site don't like you either. 

Are you getting the idea?

I do not need to insult you further. You have shown your ugliness to all who have read your garbage and realized what you are. Do you think we don't talk about you? 

Keep it up. You will not be on this site long. Then you can go troll some other site.

In the meantime. Don't post anything else to me. You are lower than I care to deal with.

Just a note on working from photo references.

At times I have used only one photo reference.  More often, I use the sky from one photo, the background from another photo and possibly several other reference photos for the foreground.  While many may be doing so, do not assume painters simply work from one photo. I have used six photos to compose a single painting.

I do this as well. My art-school major was Illustration, where this was very commonplace. The habit has followed me even though I am no longer pursuing illustration and have moved toward the fine art field

Interestingly, the photographer is limited in this area. Some shows have the ruling that if you enter in the photography category, nothing may be manipulated beyond what you could do in a dark room. Therefore series stacking of many layers from different photographs onto one may not be accepted. 

Often we are relegated to only being able to use what was captured in that single shot.

We often have our hands tied, to a certain extent, and have to achieve our creativity differently then what some other mediums have available.

This is not to say that we cannot get very creative in the dark. Or achieve superimposers there. The best results are achieve via doing so in the original shots. Hence involving tremendously more skill,  knowledge, creativity and forethought.

I could never agree to that limitation.  It's backward thinking to me.  Are they so naive to imagine Ansel Adams did not manipulate images in the dark room? If your tools allow it and you have the skills why would you not use them? It's as if someone told me I could only use my fingers to paint. No brushes nor painting knife, Oh and only use pigments invented before the 1900's.

I just don't agree with that thinking.

In many ways photography today has more possibilities for and leans toward the flexibility afforded painters. Go for it if you can I say.


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