Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roving Art Critics

Hatta, U.A.E.
Watercolour and ink
©1991 Charlene Brown

Painting on location, besides being an adventure, is the best way to get a ‘feel’ for your subject, and certainly the most satisfying way to produce a picture. 
There is a special appeal to capturing the wild places of the land. But, in the United Arab Emirates, I wanted to include aspects that are uniquely Arabian, so I often painted in and around the towns. When I painted the little mountain village of Hatta, about an hour’s drive from Dubai, I wasn’t striving for over-all photo-realism. But, as usual if I’ve taken the trouble to make my way to a place for the purpose of painting it, I tried to make the subject at least recognizable – never forgetting the advantage painters have over photographers in that we can tighten things up and selectively telescope the perspective…
Some time after I'd painted this, a roving art critic (aka door-to-door carpet salesman) checking out the artwork on our walls had one comment about ‘Hatta’.
Roving art critic: That’s not Hatta!