Artist: What are you doing?
Farmer: Photographing a rutabaga.
Artist: Cattle feed.
A rutabaga and a turnip disappear into an artist’s studio (which sounds like the start to a terrible joke but is actually what happened some time after Dad saw me taking photographs of root vegetables for yesterday’s blog post…). What came out of the studio was these two drawings:Which goes to show you don’t need to wait for inspiration to show up in order to start drawing – you just need a couple of vegetables.
Seeing the two drawings, though, made me think of how easy it is to take a photograph and how hard it is to capture the essence of a thing. Somehow, artwork created by hand still has a fundamentally different feel to it than a photograph in terms of the way it captures the subject matter at hand.
I hasten to add that taking a good photograph isn’t easy at all and taking an exceptional image – well, one can wait a lifetime and still not capture the ultimate shot. But taking the time to sit down and craft by hand the likeness of something – that is, I think, a skill that we shouldn’t forget about or dismiss just because it has become so easy to capture visual data. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is some quality inherent in these sketches that is lacking in my photos posted yesterday. Running my photos through any number of tricky filters isn’t going to help. I feel very fortunate to live with an artist who has a studio full of brushes and paints and pencils and pens with nibs and bottles of ink… It never ceases to amaze me how Dad and I see and interpret the world differently, even when we are both looking at exactly the same thing.