Pilot Mountain was a popular Sunday afternoon destination when I was a teenager.
Back then I used a Kodak Instamatic camera with 110 film to produce photos documenting memories of trips like that as well as vacation and family pictures. The camera was sufficient for that purpose but not good for capturing details or nuances. But I painted from photographs taken with that camera on several occasions.
The original painting was done in 1979/80 as part of my high school senior art class ‘portfolio’. The senior students each had a solo show in the lobby of the guidance counselor’s office for a week. This painting was one of three or four I had in that show. I gave the painting to my favorite teacher as a thank-you for all they had done for me in my days at that school. Things like teaching me discipline in my poetry by writing a poem every day for thirty days and steering me toward literary magazines one of which ended up publishing a poem of mine.
That year was a year of artistic firsts – first poem published, first solo show, first sale of my artwork (I sold a color pencil sketch of a conch seashell during my solo show). Many, many years passed before I journeyed back to my artistic roots. I painted the same view decades later and the result was quite different from the original.
Having stored those photographs in adhesive-page photo albums they didn’t last well. I am including the source photograph as well as the two paintings. While the original painting has long since disappeared I had a copy of it on slides. Unfortunately they also didn’t stand the test of time well but I am including images from those slides. So this week’s ‘Making Of’ is two paintings based on the same photograph but created thirty-three years apart. While I prefer the rocks in the original painting the second painting shows growth. I was no longer trying to just reproduce a photograph in an oil painting.