Sunday, November 13, 2016

Believable vs. Unbelievable Landscapes in Art

Something to consider when making landscapes and other realistic art: it has to be believable.

Today I saw a photo of a sunrise along the shore, over Long Island Sound in my hometown. I have never seen anything like that in real life. This amateur photographer has a history of using Photoshop and filters. I immediately wondered if it was altered. The colors of the autumn grasses and other clues led me to believe indeed it was probably unaltered. It was just a crazy spectacular sky with outrageous rare colors. My next thought was if this was painted to record the wow factor the viewer may reject it as being unnatural and therefore unappealing.

This is like reading fiction when the story is too bizarre so we reject it and hate it. Or a movie. Yet sometimes in real life there are crazy stories that hit the news or celebrities or politicians so things in real life that are so over the top we are stunned and say, "Real life is stranger than fiction". But real life can get away with it and human-created art cannot get away with it.

In a landscape when considering the real scene sometimes also we have to edit out or move a thing here or there so that the work is more appealing. If being extremely true to life is the goal then the scene should just be photographed not painted or drawn.

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