The Importance of Photography
Even though my main artistic discipline has always been painting, photography has been an essential part of my creative process. For me, drawing and painting on location is a must. The time that it takes to absorb and capture a scene through observational drawing is always time well spent. However, you can only record so much of a place in your sketchbook. This is where photography becomes an indispensable part of the artists armoury. My Photographs of Venice are no exception.
Th digital age of photography has made the collating of imagery so much easier and quicker. Many of us will remember the frustrations of the age of film. We can all relate to the disappointment of having our 35mm films being developed only to discovering the that the photograph that we thought was going to be a winner, turned out to be either dull, out of focus or simply badly composed. Today, the ability to see the image on a screen straight away enables us to make a judgement on the spot and hopefully re-shoot if necessary.
Venice, the City of Love
My love affair with Venice began in June 1991. My wife Susan had lived there for 5 years in the 1980’s and had loved the Italian way of life, making many friends. Right from the first night we met, she had shared many stories of her life there and was keen for me to see where she and her two children had lived. We spent a three days in Venice, staying with friends who lived in Marghera on the mainland. I recall getting emotional on the vaporetto as we left Venice, wondering if we would ever return. I had no need to worry, we’ve since been back eight times, capturing so many different aspects of Venetian life in paint and through photography. I’ve had the good fortune of being able to sell my paintings and prints of Italy to a growing audience.
Dream of Venice
In 2017 I came across an opportunity for artists to submit their photographs of Venice for a new book titled Dream of Venice in Black and White by Bella Figure Publications. I was delighted to discover that my image of the Regata Storica had been chosen for the publication. Going through the submission process, selecting images from my collection made me realise just how many photographs I had of Venice. More importantly, I started to see that my gathering of reference material for painting through photography over three decades was so much more than just that. I actually had many strong images of Venice that brought a painter’s perspective of this unique city that could both compliment and offer a contrast to his paintings.
I’ve since started to go through many more of my reference photographs that record some of the other places that Susan and I have visited including Oman and Florence. Some of these photographs are now available online as giclee prints.