“The Light” oil on canvas 38x30cm

I was captivated by this painting named “The Light” by contemporary Swedish painter Annette Björk Swensson. I enjoy photorealism, and I especially like works that are not TOO realistic. I like to know I’m looking at a painting.

Many painters work from photographs, as Lisa Marder discusses in her article The Camera Obscura and Painting – “Since the advent of photography, there has been a somewhat uneasy relationship between photography and painting. Even though the word ‘photography’ means ‘drawing with light’ when translated from its Greek roots, many painters are reluctant to admit that they work from photographs. But many painters now use them as references, and some even work from them directly, by enlarging and tracing them.”

It is suspected that some of the Old Masters used the camera obscura technique, and some artists have even been able to duplicate and document the process by painting their own “Vermeers,” as mentioned in the article The Flemish Masters and the Camera Obscura: Illusions of the Renaissance.

Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl With The Peral Earring”

Modern tech has taken this to a new level by creating simulated paintings from photographs, no artist needed. To my eye, those artificial filters that promise to give the picture of your puppy the painterly touch are an assault on the senses, ham-handedly bastardizing both the art of photography and painting. I’m guilty of trying them out, and in the end, I always prefer the original photo, as I did with one of my old friend, Harlan.

Thought in Memory of Thomas Brown

“It’s human nature to gripe, but I’m going ahead and doing the best I can.”

Elvis Presley