Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.–Rene Magritte
This week Cheri offered us an intriguing photo challenge–to find inspiration in art. This has prompted me to try something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: create a painting from a photograph. I selected a photo of a church shot when we were taking a boat ride down the Amalfi Coast several years ago.
It was a bright, sunny spring morning when we left Sorrento. We sat on deck in the sunshine, enjoying the warm weather. I used my Canon 40D with 70 to 300 mm telephoto lens to take shots of the coastline. One of my favorites is the photo below of a church on the cliffs overlooking the coast. There are some distracting elements in the shot, so I cropped it to focus on the church. I also liked the unconventional angle of the shot and decided not to straighten it.
Amalfi Church Painting
To achieve the effect of an impressionistic painting, I applied a Topaz Simplify Painting Filter and made some minor adjustments to the saturation, contrast, and exposure. I was pleased with the bright light and colors, and strong patches of light and shadow. I think it heightens the aura of mystery in this shot.
The Martyr: Original Photograph
Here’s another shot taken on the same trip to Sperlonga, between Rome and Naples. After visiting the Grotto of Tiberius, we peered inside a local church. This unusual and somewhat startling statue of a saint, impaled by a sword, is on display. You’ll see that her tears are painted red.
The Martyr Oil Painting
Here’s the same shot with an oil filter effect. I like the distressed shadows and lighting and the glow from the crown. It conveys the emotion of the statue even though her tears are not visible.
Now, it’s time for you to weigh in. Which effect do you like? The original or the painting? Why?
This week, I also did a little research and found out that there was a school of Italian impressionism in the 1800’s, headed by the painter Giovanni Fatori. The group, called the Macchiaioli, are credited with being forerunners of the French impressionists and painted in Tuscany. Here’s a small sample of Fattori’s work:
In closing, I’ll leave you with a quote from Picasso:
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.–Pablo Picasso
Have an inspiring week, everyone!