Although all art is conceived in the hearts and minds of the artist, I think it’s safe to say that most art is derived from something outside of sheer imagination. There is usually some form of reference for what we actually put on paper, canvas or fabric. A photograph is often the source from which we create our own interpretation of the subject. We don’t aim to copy. We hope to create something expressive and unique to ourselves. Otherwise, we’d be happy putting the picture up on the wall to admire. And we do that too. But for the artists, it’s all about creating something new, something that shows how we perceive the world through our own hearts and minds.
Usually I use my own photos. In fact, more and more I go out to take pictures just so I can use them in making my art. But from time to time, I will use someone else’s photo, with their permission, of course. Because my ex-husband still lives on Cape Cod and he works in Woods Hole, he has daily access to world renowned views and I’m more than happy to use them as inspiration for my own artwork. I think that more and more he takes them just so I can use them. It’s a symbiotic relationship after marriage.
Here’s two examples of his photos and my artwork that is based on these photos.
You can see pretty clearly that no attempt was made to copy the photo; rather, to create something new, that may even have a different story about it altogether. My point of view is quite different from that of the photographer. And so are the stories we tell.