I am thrilled to have artist Peter Etril Snyder guest hosting on the blog today.
I am sure you have heard me speak of him before… Not only is he a highly recognized Canadian artist, he is also a philanthropist, mentor and most importantly to me… he is a very special uncle!
Recently I was chatting with him about his new approach to finding inspiration from Google Street View… I thought it was a fantastic concept… so I asked him to share some of the paintings he has done using it.
If you aren’t familiar here is an intro…
Google Maps with Street View lets you explore places around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery. You can explore world landmarks, view natural wonders, navigate a trip, go inside restaurants and small businesses all from the comfort of your home… Brilliant! If you would like to check out Street View here is the link.
Here is Pete to tell us more…
“Hurst Road is a small road in the New Castle on Tyne area of England.
Without Street view, I doubt that I would ever have gotten to this rural area. Following my nose on Street View has taken me to many places, often to back waters that I would not have visited in the U.K. even though I have vacationed there over 40 times. I should mention as well that the views that Street Views takes with their format are quite different from the angles that I would have chosen had I physically been on the spot. That forces me to look at different possiblilties.
Here is my story book version of a small holding in Vezac in Aquitaine.
I have selected only a portion from the Street view photo ( below) I made little of the cilff in the background but focused instead on the house and barn in this wine growing region of Fance. Using a scratchy almost dry brush application, my wish was to show a light herated view of this rather grim photo.
I have always been drawn to the funny trees in France with their severe “haircuts” I choose my subjects in a most unscientific way.
I am either attracted to the subject or not. My paintings are personal and my concern is the aesthetic of the way that I handle the theme. I don’t wish to educate people but rather to delight the viewer.
When I look at a view, I try to decide which qualities of the photo speak to me.
Clearly another artist or even this artist may take a different approach, perhaps focusing on the village or the buildings on the hill. I believe that it is this personal view point which makes art. Art is about a personal opinion.
I was attracted to this view from my drive –by shooting on street view.
Located at just the edge of Sos this small bungalow says cozy comfort, especially in the raking afternoon light. I think that I respond to light effects the way many people respond to music. Almost all of my paintings reflect my concern with what light is doing to the subject. Sos is a community in the Lot-et-Garonne department in south-western France
Having spent several U.K. vacations in the Cotswolds, I was drawn to this small cottage which is of type that we often rent while on holiday.
As I often do, when dealing with snapshots from Street view, I have eliminated the road choosing to focus in on the stone house. I have also greatly reduced the impact of the trees behind the house, rather inferring them rather than describing them in any detail. Just another personal choice that makes this painting mine. This pretty house is in the village of East Leach Martin, Oxfordshire.
This next painting is a good example of how I extract a bit of information from a Street view shot or really any photo that I take myself. When I photograph a piece if landscape, I try to include as wide an area as possible which allows me in my studio to focus on some aspect that I might not have even seen when I took the original shot. In this particular photo I have done a riff on the information following my informed intuition developed from 50 years of painting.
This country property is in the New Castle on Tyne area in northern England.
My fanciful treatment of this open gate near Lambourn, U.K. points one the problems of painting from Streetview.
Often the photos from this marvelous device are crooked as the camera sweeps across the landscape.
This could present problems to the new comer who wishes to try this painting from Street View idea. Fortunately the computer can right many, but not all, wrongs. As with all these small paintings in this series I limit myself to one hour of painting time so that I am forced to keep the approach light. Edwards hill is just on the outskirts of Lambourn, Berkshire, U.K. (Great horse racing country)
In 1998 Marilyn and I lived in a rented 16th century house nearby. Driving around this area on street view, I relive many of the experiences that I have had in this area which is close to the famous garden at Sissinghurst.
By the Pond.
Marilyn‘s keen interest in gardens has taken me to many extraordinary spots that I would not have found on my own. Everywhere I go I see things that demand painting.
Thank you for taking this journey with me today… If you are interested in any of the paintings I have shown to add to your own collections or if you just want to see more of my work please link over to my Gallery website.”
I told you he was great…
Thank you Pete! I really enjoyed getting a taste of how you work using Street View… fascinating!