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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Emotionally attached? (1 Viewer)

Swampy Sam

Well-known member
I have recently gotten out of photography and more into drawing birds in the field. I love the process of doing it maybe more than the final picture. The more I do it the better they are starting to look. Maybe not jaw dropping, but enough to put in frames .My wife even told me to put them in the living room! My wife having fine taste in decor.... Believe me she does. I still say to her. "We don't have to leave these out here." She says no leave them. She really likes them . Not to get away from the subject but Everytime I glance at them I think about when I did it and watching the bird. I wonder about selling them. Then think I couldn't sell them I have become attached to my pictures. I don't feel the same about photographs of birds I have taken .Not to say photos are not as art worthy at all, But it seems like more heart goes into. Hand made things. Just wonder if anyone else feels this way about it. Can the price of art be justified as to the love that goes into making it.
 

Steve Heath

Well-known member
I have recently gotten out of photography and more into drawing birds in the field. I love the process of doing it maybe more than the final picture. The more I do it the better they are starting to look. Maybe not jaw dropping, but enough to put in frames .My wife even told me to put them in the living room! My wife having fine taste in decor.... Believe me she does. I still say to her. "We don't have to leave these out here." She says no leave them. She really likes them . Not to get away from the subject but Everytime I glance at them I think about when I did it and watching the bird. I wonder about selling them. Then think I couldn't sell them I have become attached to my pictures. I don't feel the same about photographs of birds I have taken .Not to say photos are not as art worthy at all, But it seems like more heart goes into. Hand made things. Just wonder if anyone else feels this way about it. Can the price of art be justified as to the love that goes into making it.
Hi Sam
Sorry for my long-winded and preachy answer.
In my experience the most evocative, enjoyable and personal images are made in the field. Birds are very, very difficult to draw from life, so when you do pin something of your experience down on paper it is precious and unique. You have crossed the space between yourself and a wild animal and recorded that unique interaction. There are a number of very well established and brilliant field artists - e.g. Lars Jonsson, Darren Woodhead, the late John Busby and Eric Ennion - who were able to make a living from field painting and in the case of the latter two teaching. In my experience as a competent painter (but not in their league), there is a pernicious side to selling; you risk coming to evaluate the worth of your paintings in monetary terms. I have come to question the intrinsic value of a painting that fails to sell, which has shaped my approach to similar subjects in the future and undermined my retrospective enjoyment of the work. Again I am speaking personally and this may not be the case for you at all. All the artists I mention clearly love/loved field work, and the fact they can sell their paintings is an added bonus. In short if you love field sketching, it is probably making you rich already. Sell it if you want to but never lose the true value of the work, which lies in your enjoyment in the field and the pleasure you get from looking at the picture in the future and recalling your experiences making it. Please feel welcome to share your work here.
Keep sketching
Steve
 

ABCY 1

Well-known member
As a long-time field sketcher it’s a pleasure to find others being rewarded by looking at birds closely enough to draw them. I fully agree with Steve about the “unique interaction” that comes with field sketching. Obviously digital photography has transformed the way many birders work, but you will never see a bird through a viewfinder as well as you will with binoculars, scope or the naked eye. Holding on to that moment by drawing is a challenge but it will surely make you really look and appreciate, which is presumably why you are out there in the first place. Not many sketches are ‘perfect’ but they will be part of your store of memories about time and place. It’s good to share this connection and I would encourage you to post your work here (no pressure!)

Speaking as a professional bird illustrator, I also agree with Steve that the value we put on art is arbitrary, and it’s a reality that working with the aim of selling can get in the way of painting what you love.

This topic has interested me for a long time, and I’m used to seeing non-artists’ eyes glaze over, so that’s it from me. You might find something of interest on this old thread:

Field sketching and illustration


cheers, Peter
 

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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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