A positive comment I often get is "Your paintings look just like photographs'. A negative comment I often get is "Your paintings look just like photographs'. Same phrase, opposite meaning.
Painters have always used the technical possibilities of their time to make their work look as real as possible. The 17th century Dutch painter Vermeer used an ingenious lense system and the 19th century Impressionists were keen to use the newly invented camera. In the 21st century painters use digital cameras and computers. A few years back I made a YouTube clip called 'The computer is a painter's best friend'. It's a small demonstration of how I use Photoshop to design my paintings.
Ocean with Evening Clouds, detail
Seen from a distance my work may seem photographic, but when you look up close, you'll of course see that it's not. That's why on my website (at least in the 'recent work' section) I always include two or more details when I put a paintng online. Sometimes these details become almost abstract. Dots of paint and small brush strokes that you don't see from a distance, let alone on a computer screen.
Ocean with Evening Clouds, oil on panel, 120 x 160 cm
Got an email a while ago from a guy who just saw one of my paintings: "This was only a painting, but it made me feel
the same way as I had just done on the beach" This is a great compliment and it sums up what I'm after: make a painting that mirrors the feelings I have when I'm in this landscape, wether it's standing in awe for the grandeur of nature or simply enjoying the beauty of it all. For me realism is the way to achieve this, or at least get as close as possible. Mission impossible ofcourse, but I just love to keep trying!