Tagged camera

Do-Over

This past week I spent some time with some do-overs.

These two paintings are from a few years ago and although they don’t look too unusual for my work, they did before I repainted the backgrounds.

The Pleasures of Life / 24 x 24 / oil on canvas

Before these pictures were taken, the backgrounds were what I call explosion blue. They were a vibrant, unnatural, unfamiliar, chemical blue.

They were complete and even hung in a gallery for some time, but I was happy to get them back to correct them. I was pleased with the balance and geometry of the compositions, but the blue was so peculiar to my eyes that I had a hard time looking at the paintings.

I removed the varnish and added some layers of a much more subtle and neutral tone — a white/grey with only the most subtle, barely perceptible hint of blue. Immediately it felt as though my own personality returned to the paintings.

I did the vibrant blue backgrounds on the suggestion from a friend who was giving some opinion on changes they thought would add some “pop” to my work. In a moment of weakness and confusion, I took their advice.  It was as though my own signature was removed from my work.

The opportunity for the do-over has been very therapeutic.

Imagine if life were like a painting. Imagine if you could literally get a moment or an event back, remove the varnish and make your corrections.

The Interpretation of Dreams / 24 x 24 / oil on canvas

Rows and Stacks of Cameras

Four Vintage Cameras Oil Painting by Christopher Stott
Four Vintage Cameras / 20 x 40 / oil on canvas

This will sound sentimental, but who cares. I like the thought of how exciting these cameras would have been to a kid who received it as a gift. Back when photography took time, it would have seemed magic. I like the thought that these lenses were the eyes on so many events.

Ten Vintage Cameras Oil Painting by Christopher Stott
Ten Vintage Cameras / 24 x 36 / oil on canvas

And then there is the fact I can present these objects in such an orderly way. The four cameras are all 3/4 turned, facing to the right. These black cubes, such simple shapes, with the circular flash from the unique Spartus camera. The stack of ten cameras makes a small architectural structure, each with a different facade. The box cameras with their shining brass art deco designs, the different materials used. Composing the cameras this way adds a structure and order.

The materials, their designs, the history and story, their utility as image making tools, cameras are deserving of a portrait.

I have been painting cameras for well over a decade. You can see 40 paintings of cameras I’ve done on good old Flickr.

As with many of my recent paintings, the subjects were found at Everything Old in Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island.

The Art of the Camera

Bencini & Leica Cameras Oil Painting Art Christopher Stott
12 x 24 / oil on canvas

Kodak, Bencini, Leica, Yashica. USA, Italy, Germany, Japan.

Learning about these cameras is like a 20th century world history lesson. The makers of these cameras have all been affected by world events, the economy and changing technology. Even though they are obsolete, they still have avid collectors and enthusiasts.

Vintage Kodak Camera Oil Painting by Christopher Stott
22 x 28 / oil on canvas

With the Kodaks painting above, I composed an arch with the lenses and flashes, giving the painting an architectural feel.

We have had PHD (Push Here, Dummy) cameras in our pockets for a hundred years, but it’s the ones that look like they were pieced together by watchmakers that are fun to paint.

I like that they were all used to make art, to document holidays, travel, weddings and so many other happy events. What’s strange is that the photos from the cameras are all missing, lost or hidden. It really makes me wonder what will happen to the billions of photos we upload from the cameras on our phones now.

Two Yashica Cameras Oil Painting by Christopher Stott
18 x 14 / oil on canvas

Crafted Kodaks

Two Antique Kodaks oil Painting by Christopher Stott
12 x 24 / oil on canvas

These elegant and finely detailed antique Kodak cameras are works of art on their own. They have a patina about them. Cameras are now and always have been ubiquitous – but some were made to stand out. These cameras have lost their function, but now exist as sculpture and ideals of craftsmanship.

These two paintings are part of my July 2015 exhibition at the Elliott Fouts Gallery.

Antique Kodak Oil Painting by Christopher Stott
16 x 16 / oil on canvas
Antique Kodak oil painting by Christopher Stott