By Sandra Reed, Professor of Painting
There are several graduate students who are completing a teaching internship as one of their graduate courses in SCAD Lacoste this fall. These students are Charles Parham (graduate painter from SCAD Atlanta interning with Professor Deems from SCAD Savannah in Travel Portfolio), Catherine Callero (graduate sculpture student from SCAD Atlanta completing an internship with Professor Peterson from SCAD Atlanta in Travel Portfolio) and Matthew King (graduate photography student from SCAD Savannah completing a teaching internship with Professor Tom Fischer from SCAD Savannah in Travelogue).
Graduate teaching interns observe at least two other classes during the quarter as part of their internships. Catherine and Charles visited PNTG 409 Advanced Painting a few weeks ago and assisted students with their artist statements. Today, Monday, October 22, Matthew King joined the class and spoke with each undergraduate painter, Matt’s visit, and those of other guests, provide real-life studio-visit experience for the artists. And for our visitors, there’s nothing like talking with an artist in front of their canvas with the tools and source material and related works ready at hand. Matt shared some reflections regarding painting and photography following his visit to the class.
Reflections on Painting and Photography by Matthew King, M.F.A. Photography, SCAD Savannah:
“It is interesting to me to note the differences in consideration for making an image across the two disciplines. As photographers, we’re capable of producing a finished picture, theoretically, in the push of a button. (Naturally one hopes that we intrinsically have a sense of vision, intuition, or conceptual thinking that is leading the viewfinder, but the second it takes to release the shutter is infinitesimal all the same) The creation of a painting can be intricately more physically involved, and what might take a photographer 10-20 hours from inception to intensive postproduction, could easily take a painter months.
On another note, one might think views on light and color to be universal, but I feel we, as photographers, approach them from a different side of the spectrum. I have to think of color in terms of its translation from transmitted light (light coming through the monitor) to reflected light (ink on the paper), and if this is done well I end up with a finished print that accurately reflects the color balance and tonal range I initially intended. Painters are mixing their own colors with knowledge of ambient light and reflected light from the time they are crafting their palettes to the time they are implementing them. It is phenomenal to think they need be aware of the value of light they are using and how that will affect the outcome of their work, just as we have to appropriately white balance the camera for the very same reasons. With painting, however it goes even so far as to be aware of how the layering of colors can affect the final hue, not to mention potential texture. A painting in may ways becomes a kind of intimate object; it can readily become something to be valued, perhaps even something to be possessed. The same can be said of a beloved photograph, but unless you’re involved in alternative processes, that jump from two-dimensional image to three-dimensional object can be a difficult one to make.
Ultimately whether or not we are trying to create a beautiful landscape from the mixing of colors on canvas, or capture that moment where light, shadow, and color coalesce into the perfect marriage of tonal range and hue, our goal as artists is the same; we want an outlet to say something or to say anything. If we are good at what we do we may be able to offer a different perspective. If we are great at what we do, we may even be able to shape the perspective of those who view our work. In that case it may not matter in the slightest, from which end of the spectrum we approach the finished image, just so long as we continue to do it.”
Photo credit: Sandra Reed