Thursday, October 8, 2009

Camouflage or Deception Paintings?

There was surge of popularity in what are commonly called "Deception" or "Camouflage" paintings not too many years ago. These paintings have sort of hidden pictures within the picture so to speak. One of my favorite artists of this type of painting is Bev Doolittle and I prefer to call these "Camouflage" paintings rather than "Deception" paintings because the items are simply hidden and not really meant to deceive.

However, there are some so-called artists out there who do try to actively deceive their customers. One such artist was brought to the attention of the members of one of my art groups. A web link was posted to ask us whether we thought the paintings posted as examples were really painted at all as the artist claims or whether they were photo manipulations. Photos can be changed with certain filters and made to look like paintings and that's fine in my book. My beef is not with photo manipulations but I detest it when they're called paintings when in fact they aren't.

Even when paint is applied over the photo, the base is still a photo and should be called that. Thomas Kincaide is known for applying paint over his prints but he's very upfront about it and besides, the prints are from his original work, not a manipulated photograph!

Take a look at the photo above (you can click on it to make it larger) and see if you would ever call this a painting. It's actually a photo manipulation that I did in about 4 minutes to see if I could reproduce the same effect as the artist we were discussing in my art forum. Of course, the original photo is not the same as his, but it's similar and the effects came out pretty similar also. If anyone would call this a painting, I'm going to give up spending hours and hours slaving over a hot easel and start selling MY photo manips at the same price that my paintings bring!


sue said...

Good for you Jan .... and I hope the artist in question is having a few sleepless nights (but I doubt it somehow)!!

Teresa said...

I know exactly where you're coming from. I think of the hours it takes me to actively think about a painting before I even begin it (composition, values, lighting, etc) and then the hours of careful painting. Yes, I enjoy it, but yes, it would be nice if artists were appropriately compensated for their original work. I have a photographer friend and he says that manipulated photos (mostly using Corel Painter) are selling for big bucks.