Tag Archives: texture

Texture Makes It Better Art

This time we visit the beach to make art and discuss texture.   It is an obvious yet often overlooked component of art. Is a work of art smooth? Or, does it have a tactile feel to it? Is that tactile feel genuine or an illusion? Complex questions answered when dealing with art works of any size or variety. Actually, texture regularly makes or breaks the uniqueness of a particular work to the viewer.   In photography, good  texture often happens by using by a simple method.

 

An easy method of finding texture to apply in a work of art is to simply find a subject with that interesting texture already present. At first this may seem like an oversimplification. But an artist often looks deeper into physical relationships of their subjects.

 

So finding the right subject to portray what the artist wants to say is usually much more difficult than most people assume. The reason for this is that the eye-catching nature of the texture, as applied to the work of art, is often up to the individual artist. This is where an implied artistic interpretation impacts the story the artist is attempting to tell.  If this seems to be almost metaphysically philosophical in nature, it’s because it is. It is art after all.

Truly, texture becomes a necessary part of the artistic vision used to make any work of art. This selected interpretation develops thru a specific application.  In the painting arts, it often appears as gobs of thick paint. Drawing a certain way, or even the use of different brushes and washes accomplish the desired artistic effect.

 

Seaweed and Shells
Seaweed and Shells

However, in photography, the artist has to apply other means to accomplish this same goal. So often, the photographer looks for the visual aspects of a shot that will provide these needed textures naturally.

Seaweed and Shells

Perhaps the artist is attempting to show the smooth skin of a person to showcase beauty or youth. Or, as in the case of Seaweed and Shells, texture adds a sense of conflict between the gritty sand, the spongy seaweed and the smooth interior of a shell.   When I took this shot, I fell in love with the notion that the rich textures provided a sort of glue that made the picture work.

 

The Reconsideration of Older Art Works of an Artist

It is time to spend a brief post about something we found in the storage closet. Why are we doing this?   Well, We introduced this art work back when there were less than 200 followers of our art on social media and this blog.   Now there are over 3300!  That’s a lot of people who never got to experience our earlier works!

 

Since the lifeblood of a gallery is the ability to present the work of the artist they represent it is necessary to cleverly reintroduce older works of an artist in with newer ones.   Besides, and I know this to be quite true, very few people will look at 150 pieces of art all at the same time.   So, as an artist’s list of works continue to grow it is necessary to reintroduce older ones to present how the artist has also changed over time.

 

So from our finely aged collection of photographic art, I’d like to once again present Blanket of Green.

Blanket of Green
Blanket of Green

You can discover it and other collectibles here.

 

This work is a close up shot of the rigid back top of a banana leaf. Hundreds of black lines cascading down the leaf highlight the natural yellows and greens found in nature. They also provide a sense of depth and contrast as the lines of the leaves at the upper left seemingly flow in a direction quite different from the bold bark shade lines of the leaf on the right edges of the photograph.

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Drops and Sand

Drops and Sand is a recent photographic work that intensifies the use of texture in photographic art.  Indeed, this piece is an interesting macro shot of the top layer of sand found on the beach during a rainstorm.

The black specs found in the sand challenges the viewer to accept the randomness that nature offers us in our everyday lives.  But, as much as the black shows up against the light gray backdrop of the sand itself, the specks are not the commanding feature.

The unusual subject of the photograph that nurtures and cultivates our attention is the strange moon like craters randomly appearing throughout the work.  It’s the 3 dimensional appearances of these craters that allow us to really notice the texture of the sand.

These craters give us the opportunity to add a physical Drops and Sandfeel for what would otherwise be a flat surface.   When shown together the sand and the craters let our minds form suggestions of how the sand feels under our fingertips.

Another reason that helps our minds check the sands coarseness is the many small shards of shells and water worn pebbles that also are randomly washed into the sand.  Each of these pebbles and shells has a separate color than that of the gray sand in which it lies buried.

Finally, from a decorative or different artistic point, the pebbles also allow us to match this picture more easily with any wall we may wish to hang it on.  Because the pebbles are so small, the color of the rocks looks diminished by the gray found in the sand.

However, if you were to place an earth toned colored matting around the picture you would find that color being brought out in the sand.  The same with using blue-tinted matting.

This matting would further cause the sand to appear even more bluish gray.  In essence, this use of colored matting would work, as a catalyst to bring out the color the decorator would like to highlight.  It is very multifunctional.

Like what you read about The Devil’s Flower?

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Do You Think of Textures When You Are Taking A Photograph?

When I think of texture my mind always thinks of a burlap bag.  Why?  I guess it is my own personal definition or association with the word.  The rough fibers, the feel of the hemp or flax, all of these help give the Burlap a certain feel.  But I also think of wine.  The silky smoothness and feel of a perfectly aged and aerated wine on the palate.   Texture means things both real and imagined.

We say a wine has a complex texture but we are not really referring to the actually feeling of the wine, it’s a liquid after all.  Instead we are looking for clues to its imaginary feel.  We want a velvety smooth wine, but that is just an imaginary description.   Have you ever put velvet in your mouth?  I doubt it is as inspiring as a good claret.  Like wine, texture in art and photography is not just about the physical sensations discovered when you touch it.  In both the painting and photographic realms it is also about the visual imaginative “feel” that a work of art has.

In painting an artist may rely on texture to relay a feeling of heaviness to the viewer. Piling the paint in thick strokes upon the canvas do this.  This use of texture coincides with lines, color, and shape to create the illusion that an object is real.

So what is the lowly photographer to do?  Photographs do not have paint to supply that 3rd dimension.  This is true, but we have our own set off tools to do the job.

In the physical realm to print our pictures on many different kinds of objects.  We can give a photograph texture by printing it on a certain canvas; we can even print the image on metal to give it a polished look.  I’ve also seen pictures printed on glass so that the light shines through the glass lighting up the picture and giving it a reflective texture.

The photographer can also offer visual texture in an image in several other ways. The most obvious is to create a photograph of a physical texture.  A close up portrait of a burlap bag would be an example.  The picture itself doesn’t have a physical texture but it does have a visual one.  Other objects that can offer texture in photographs include glass, metal, bricks, rocks, water, and wood.

When we see these imagines,  a part of the brain that identifies them according to our own experiences through our senses.  When I see grass, I don’t have to touch it to know what it feels like in my hands or on my feet. You don’t have to touch molten iron to know it’s hot.  My brain and imagination does this for me.  The photographer can use this to give the viewer familiarity  with the subject of the photograph, thus imparting the experience  the photographer wishes.

What are your favorite textures?  Do you think of textures when you are taking a photograph?

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