One is tempted to use filters to simulate oil or acrylic paintings from photographs full-strength. Somehow this approach feels ingenuous to me. Why not use brush on canvas to create artwork and take digital photos of these to post online? I would rather do what I call “digital painting” — use photographs as bases for the work then wield a digital brush or some other tool to enhance the image, add, delete, blur, change the color values locally, etc.
We are indeed immersed in a poverty of riches — so much technology available to us that it is easy to take the easy way out of being creative. To be an artist one must, in my mind, struggle. To struggle with ideas, that to me is how we push beyond the limits of our conventional vision.
This came to me this morning reading Michael Fitzgerald’s essay introducing Picasso, The Artist’s Studio, a 2001 exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art that followed Picasso’s trail as his skill and art evolved over time, testing new techniques from the classic studios to those of contemporary innovators then finally finding his own stride. Which was not then to be smooth and without struggle.
In struggling we find our secret selves, or maybe, break through our ordinary selves to a godlike view of our world that is more than just symbolic; we break through to see the infinite possibilities of sight, texture and beauty immanent in our otherwise too easily definitive world.