Artwork that attempts a photographic likeness of the subject matter is termed realistic. Artists working in this area draw their ideas and inspiration from the world around them and are concerned with representing that world so that the viewer of the finished painting can recognize the people, places, or scenes depicted.
Before photography itself was invented, of course, painting was the primary means of documenting events and capturing likenesses. So painters working in this style today can draw upon centuries of knowledge and experimentation in how to re-create the three-dimensional world of light and shadows using two-dimensional, opaque materials. Yet there is also always something new to discover, as each artist approaches the world with his or her own distinct sensibility, technique, and choice of subject matter.
The four Kentucky artists featured in Program 1 of Looking at Painting paint subjects ranging from the figure to still life to landscape:
Gaela Erwin, Louisville
Dal Macon, Emlyn
Laurin Notheisen, Bowling Green
Sheldon Tapley, Danville
The Realism Wing of our online gallery includes works by these painters, as well as representative paintings by Van Eyck, Rubens, Vermeer, Seurat, and others.
Looking at Painting is available on home video from KET. Call (800) 945-9167 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.