New Project: Painting Magnum Landscapes

Well hello there!

This post marks the beginning of my next quarterly project. This also marks half of the year having passed, and I don't think that I would have noticed this without marking the time on a project-by-project basis.

For context, you can read aboutº how at the beginning of the year I set out to do one project per quarter. Originally, I planned on rebuilding my laundromatº application using Swift so that it would work with iOS and coremidi, a new frontier for me in which I have zero experience. At the time of writing that post, my final project was to be determined; I had an vague idea of doing something painting related. I'm not sure I want to do the iOS application anymore so I'm going to swap it with the last quarter's project and go forward with a themed painting series. Let me tell you about it.

When I was probably 12 or 13 I received a book of landscape photography from a family member. It was titled Magnum Landscape. At the time, I was just getting into photography and this book came to influence me greatly in many ways. It exposed me to talented photographers and to ways of representing landscapes as well as the people that find themselves in them. Many of the photographs in this book are still in my mind today and I think of them often. Photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson (one of the founding members of Magnum Photos), Ernst Haas and Raymond Depardon were some of my favourites. Many of the topics depicted were serious subject matters that I was too young to understand (but sometimes even then I knew to be frightened or saddened by what was portrayed). I spent a lot of time flipping through Magnum Landscape.

With this quarter's project, I hope to be able to reconnect with some of these photographs by trying to recapture them as painting studies. I hope to do six paintings over three months. I am not sure how big the paintings will be or what form they'll take but so long as I spend time studying these photographs, creating sketches of them, and then trying to paint them, I think I will be pleased.

I doubt that I will write much about this process over the coming few months, at least not as much as the projects that have involved programming. Somehow, I find it easier to write about technical subject matters rather than the act of painting. Perhaps that is something that will change over time I'm not sure (I've only been painting for a fraction of the time I've been programming).

Moreover, I feel that having a quarterly project that involves painting is a good idea. I've been pursuing painting every day this year save for a few select days that I've missed, and it would be nice to have some sort of cumulative representation of some of the progress that I've made. In that sense, I suppose, it would be better if this was done at the end of the year. But I feel that I need this quarterly project to be sans-computer to shake things up. For one, having started a new job is going to require me to be glued to my computer more than usual. I think that I'm going to need something to balance that out).

That's it for now, wish me luck.


Post hero image: Ernst Haas - White Sands, New Mexico, 1952

(ps. The hero image for this post is a photograph by Ernst Haas - a favourite of mine).