Amy Bernays is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. Bernays graduated with a BA (honors) in Fine Art from Central St Martins, London in 2001. Her paintings are landscapes of personal interaction; poems to the love of line. Amy is a prolific and engaging anthropologist and mother whose work is gaining momentum.
If I make an artwork with images of my children and post it on the internet, do I face the same dangers as posting photos of them?
Does that change when it is a drawing?
“Hope for the Future” 7×7” 2012
Copyright Jenny Saville, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Mike Bruce
‘The Mothers,’ by Jenny Saville and inspired by her own motherhood, at her new show
last Monday we were joined by Vivienne Bernays Kluck.
Gosh it is hard.
My husband thinks it is Vivienne asking to join the drumming circle
To get the accuracy in the pier sketch above, the correct perspective and spacing and such, I used my projector as a light box and traced the photo. Is this cheating?
But it is also a contemporary tilt that affects the way the final image looks. Photography in painting creates very different images from non-photographic or drawn images.
The water below was all me; sketched in with loose remembering of that cold evening by the side of the river.
I chose to orange the top because otherwise it was boring. Like wanting to die my hair, or ware a fashion item that I know will go out of style in a year, I wanted this painting to have a little more back bone than the typical waterscape.
This is a painting of the sheep heard on a private island off the coast of Main. It is special for me as I used to work with livestock. I like the relationship of the industrial looking building behind and the majesty of the small flock on the rocky hillock.
The canvas has a textured medium that compliments the glowing fleece of the sheep and the brooding sky behind.
It is one of my personal favorites.
It’s from a memory, it was late and the forest gobbled up my light.
So many lines, lost, shifting perspectives, clear but confusing. I painted a cross in the light on the left, to help find my way.
And the Power House changed again…
I wanted something about the viewer and viewed: knowledge and innocence, old and young, knowing and not knowing.
This is all complex lines and fine control of the pencil and mark making, knowing the undulations and pen control
And pencil is the most rudimentary of drawing mediums.
And this is a page torn out of the pad he was scribbling on.
The Bridges of Glendale 36×48x2 2010
I painted this.
Then I sold it, which is great. But I missed it.
I liked it as an object to hang in my house. The colors seemed to help tie together all the rooms I hung it in. I like the message, that even freeways and municipal water management systems have their beauty. I liked hanging a portrait of my neighborhood.
So I painted it again. Is that self plagiarism? Is there such a thing as self-plagiarism or is that simply self-improvement? Is it okay?
The Freeways of Glendale 24×36 2011
But the lower reflection seemed much more alive, which is funny as the source image was unclear in that section and most of it is guess work. So I painted in the orange, adding what I thought was a little life in an otherwise traditional painting.
I then sold the piece to someone who had seen it as it was originally! When I told them about the orange, the sale fell through. gurr!!
I am however happy with the fished work. It is a lot more interesting than it was before, more fun. I like the conversation between the loose yet realistic handling of the green blue reflection, and the pop of the contrasting orange. I like that it is more hip, more vibrant, and I think that it adds a little contemporary color to an otherwise placid scene.
So this is how I did it…
To get the accuracy in the pier sketch below, the correct perspective and spacing and such, I used my projector as a light box and traced the photo. Is this cheating?
But it is also a contemporary tilt that affects the way the final image looks. Photography in painting creates very different images from non-photographic, or drawn images.
There are great, memorable and important paintings made with the use of the camera. The whole Pop Art Photorealism movement of the 1960’s was based on this premise.
A few days after tracing the pier from a photograph and painting the projected image onto the canvas, I was struck by the composition of my studio. I sketched it with the drawing board perched on my knee.
In my mind I was tracing the outlines of the various objects on the table. It was like my mind had been trained to copy outlines from all the previous tracing. It is ironic that the studio sketch above shows the projector as it was really drawn from life.
Inevitably, one makes mistakes when freehand drawing. For example, the scale of the paint brushes in the foreground got a little too large to fit into the space on the paper where the foreground is supposed to go. It is the skill of the drawer to adjust the image to accommodate for those mistakes.
I contend that it is those mistakes that make an artwork uniquely human. It is the mistakes in the image that makes the magic: that over exaggerated curve in the painting of a woman’s neck that really speaks out to us about her state of mind.
The mistakes make the rhyme of creative bent. The drawer’s inaccuracies take the visage away from just image and turns into a signpost for your heart; that turns the image away from the original source and into Art.