Q: How has photography changed your approach to painting?

Untitled chromogenic print

Untitled chromogenic print, 24″ x 24″ on 30″ x 40″ Fujicolor crystal archives paper, edition of 5

A: From the beginning in the 1980s I used photographs as reference material and my late husband, Bryan, would shoot 4” x 5” negatives of my elaborate setups using his Toyo-Omega view camera. In those days I rarely picked up a camera except when we were traveling. After Bryan was killed on 9/11, I inherited his extensive camera collection – old Nikons, Leicas, Graphlex cameras, etc. – and I wanted to learn how to use them. Starting in 2002 I enrolled in a series of photography courses (about 10 over 4 years) at the International Center of Photography in New York. I learned how to use all of Bryan’s cameras and how to make my own big color prints in the darkroom. Along the way I discovered that the sense of composition and color I had developed over many years as a painter translated well into photography. The camera was just another medium with which to express my ideas. Astonishingly, in 2009 I had my first solo photography exhibition in New York. It’s wonderful to be both a painter and a photographer. Pastel painting will always be my first love, but photography lets me explore ideas much faster than I ever could as a painter. Paintings take months of work. Photographs – from the initial impulse to create a setup to hanging a framed chromogenic print on the wall – can be made in weeks.

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara Rachko is a New York Artist, Blogger, and Author who has been meticulously working in Soft Pastel on Sandpaper for 30+ years.

Posted on July 18, 2012, in An Artist's Life, Inspiration, New York, NY, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Barbara, I am so proud of you and the fact that you worked so hard in the new medium of photography when I know you were still grieving. It is exciting to have a friend who is such a wonderful, and hard working I know, artist.

  2. Congratulations on the exciting photos from Bali.

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