Sunday, August 30, 2009

August Porch, Maryland

This house is in Thurmont, Maryland and I photographed it on one of my rural vacation trips in 2006. I only did this drawing last night. By the pure standards of Urban Sketchers or illustrator James Gurney and his school of thought, this is inauthentic non-art. But I have had to compromise. I love the old houses, but I don't have the time to sit and sketch them. So I photograph them for later use in a drawing. Even that is somewhat dodgy, because technically it is illegal for me to photograph a private house without the owner's permission. I am not sure what the legal status of an artistic sketch is. I would love to have the time to just sit and sketch these old houses in Maryland and Virginia villages, and maybe someday I'll buy me some by staying a few days nearby in a bed and breakfast or something. But for now this is the result.

I assure you that if I were really sitting on the site drawing this house, and I had enough time, my drawing would look just about the same. I have done countless studies like this. I do the drawing in brown or black ink with a Pitt technical pen (I used to use an inefficient and gloppy Rapidograph). Then I indicate colors, or color it in, with watercolor pencil. Later, I bring it into the studio and activate the watercolor pencil with water and finish it off with touches of watercolor. I intend to do a whole lot of these small pictures because I just discovered a cache of small pieces of good watercolor board that I didn't want to go to waste. This picture is about 6" x 8", ink and watercolor on illustration board.


Mike said...

I'm sure if the owners found out, they would be pleased to see the outcome of the "illegal" photo you took of their house. ;)

But let me get this straight... Just because you're working from a photo, this is considered a compromise? Ridiculous!

Please take what I have to say as advice from one artist to another, and as your online friend. :)

You really need to stop thinking of these rules and standards you keep talking about. At the heart of it, art has NO RULES! YOU make the rules.

Please explain the logic in following someone else's standards. If you feel you need to uphold certain principles, why not create your own? Just because some people have more clout in the art world, certainly doesn't mean they're right.

As far as I'm concerned, these rules only act as barriers towards your continued goals.

You know as well as I do that many "big-name" artists made it big by pure chance! Yes, they have talent, but then so you do.

Please understand that I'm not angry or anything like that. It just pains me to see you constantly put yourself down because you're not "following the rules". :)

Tristan Alexander said...

First, I agree with Mike entirely! Second, "Illegal" to take a photo of a house? I don't think so! These are exterior shots which means it is public domain since anyone can see it from anyplace. I think you have weird ideas of what is legal and what is not. Every movie or photo ever taken of houses is considered legal even if they don't get a release from every home owner to use their house in a shot.
Maybe, JUST maybe, if you gave addresses of these houses or somehow told who lived there it would be an issue. But the idea that a house that can be seen by the public can't be photographed or drawn without someones permission is rediculous!

Johnny said...

Where's your camera case?

Just kidding...