Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Secret Knowledge- The book by David Hockney.

Today I am going to review the book that inspired me to start this blog. The theory Mr Hockney presents is that optical methods were used by many of the artists generally called the 'old masters'. The theory has proved very controversial.

I was personally fascinated by the 'visual evidence' presented, perhaps because I am something of a visual artist myself. I make no great claims of my own ability, and I note that nowhere in the book does Mr. Hockney make claims about his! (Although he is clearly talented). When you see the paintings, made a few years apart, where the dramatic change takes place, it does seem quite evident. Also the changes in perspective, when it seems the artist has re-focused his device is something that, when pointed out, becomes quite significant. Well worth getting this book, fascinating and beautifully illustrated. I could talk more about this, but I have something else to say.

For me personally, the important thing was it released me from the guilt of 'cheating' at art. I enjoy representational painting and I struggle to draw accurately. This book said to me 'its ok, its not cheating! As Mr. Hockney himself says, 'Optics do not make marks'. I now feel free to make work that I have always wanted to, and for that reason alone I am very glad I have my copy of Secret Knowledge.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Photosynth perspective and the picture plane

I am very interested in different ways of visualising and representing reality, and I have been amazed to discover microsofts (Yes Microsoft!) have a new and free product called Photosynth that does a similar(ish) thing to David Hockney in his polaroid series of pictures. In his own words describing pearblossom highway "Although pearblossom highway looks like it has a central fixed viewpoint, none of the photographs that make it up were taken from what could be called 'outside' the picture. I moved about the landscape slowly constructing it from different viewpoints". This is exactly what you can do with this software, although you need to make sure they overlap by around 50%.

I will add a video, because to view 'synths' you have to install it, (well worth the short time it takes!)

Ok, this short vid is a screen capture, so far more 'jerky' than photosynth is when used 'live' but it should give you an idea. I will post more when I have played more! This is ver cool!

(No Sound, just a quick screen video capture)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Welcome to Secret Knowledge

I have decided to start this blog with several varied aims. One aim is to document my thoughts on art, and the creation of art by people, like me; who have great passion, but limited natural talent.

My focus will be on what could broadly be described as representational art.

The rather cheeky title directly pays homage to David Hockneys book, Secret Knowledge. It was this book, that was the final release for me from the guilt of 'cheating' at art! My drawing skills are limited, so using optical, and other, devices to make this process easier appeals enormously. Why should my subjects be limited because I wasn't born with this talent? I was born with a strong desire to paint and draw! Is that a gift?


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