Posted by Colin

I’ve been invited to become a contributor here at Art and Perception. I’m intrigued by the possibilities that this opens up. For you see, I’m not a painter, or a sculptor. I can’t draw, and I’m not particularly experienced as an art critic. I’m a photographer.

One of the things that I’ve come to understand over the last year is how little dialogue there is between the different branches of the visual arts. We might differ in our crafts, but our arts are often so similar. We share the same fascinations with seeing and depicting. With exploring light, texture and colour. Yet we don’t talk to each other.

Worse than that, we hold opinions about the other arts that are often bizarre. There are plenty of photographers around who would dearly love to paint, because that is “real art”, and Karl tells me that there are painters who still feel threatened by photography. This is a divide that never made much sense; has gone on too long; and stops us learning from each other and using that learning to grow our own art.

I’d like to take two examples drawn from recent postings on this blog.

This portrait by Jon Conkey deals with exactly the same issues that I deal with in making a portrait – I don’t mean the technical stuff, but the artistic issues like how to blend depiction with abstraction, what colour palette to use, and where to place the framing. Thinking through the decisions that Jon made has been a valuable exercise for me.

As a second example, these figs could so easily be one of my photos. I don’t mean that they look like they are a photo, but that (I’m guessing) the motivation was the same, the style is very similar, and the thoughts about lighting and background must have worked in a way with which I am familiar.

So, to end this first post, I’m looking forward to the dialogue. If you dip into my blog, or my wider site, there will be lots of stuff that won’t interest you. But I hope that there will also be stuff that does.