Thursday, February 19, 2009
Have you ever painted with watercolors? Remember those little sets with the 8 circular discs of color? This isn't exactly the same thing, but these are watercolors, not photographs.
Every time I visit my parents, I spend at least an hour looking through their big coffee table book of the work of Steve Hanks. Each one is more spectacular than the last. I personally find the art of painting with watercolors to be the most difficult. It's so unpredictable, seemingly uncontrollable. I have never had any sort of success at it. To do something like these, with the light and layers and shading, is a skill that I think is enjoyed by very few painters.
This work is like looking at a photograph, not a painting. How on earth does he do this? Every one is so amazing. I've posted 5 here, but look at the online portfolio for many, many more examples.
I can not even begin to imagine how much time, dedication and love for an art form and subject goes into each and every one of the paintings by Steve Hanks. He attributes his work as an expression of emotion, rather than strictly a reproduction of a subject or moment. It does evoke an emotional response, doesn't it? And all in capturing a minute in time.
They are all beautiful, simple, quiet moments in life. Look closely at the detail of the rug in the image below. You can actually feel the textures of that rug as if you were running your hands over it. Pick up a set of watercolors and revisit this art form. After you've played around with this medium for a while, look again at the works of Steve Hanks to see how truly spectacular these paintings are.
In the words of Steve Hanks, "Art comes from a deep inner sense of direction. It starts with a re-evaluation of your own life, from a search for the source of the impulses and the mystery of it all. I think of myself as an emotional realist. Emotion is what I want to portray. Realism is just my way of doing it."
Man, does he do it well.