a thought on a. adams and drawing | tile

it's a good thing to {blog}scroll back in time now and again and reread what all one promises the reader. as such i promised a come-back to arnold circus {in this dc theme}, and also to photographer ansel adams, whose well known natural photos i stared at in the london nmm, last december. as it happened, a video on adams' beliefs played and i set myself down, looked, and listened. much to my surprise, an inner conflict arose.

i may have misjudged ansel adams a little as a wonder. this belief fired by my former photography teacher, i always imagined adams meticulously fiddling with his technical camera to get light, image and atmosphere right as he found himself e.g. at the bottom of a mountain. i wasn't wrong there. listening to the man's own view on things in a 1980's video played in situ, meditating on his form of art and his dedication, i think i got my imagining all wrong. 

while i pinned down adams as a man of great skill {which he undoubtedly is}, shooting his photo as he bumped into his perfect setting, i discover he actually configured his image in his mind beforehand, then went looking for it, made the photo and brought it back to the studio, if necessary enhancing to come as close as possible to his original expectation

so, in other words: not looking for {beauty in} randomness, but hunting a very specific setting. it's not that adams doesn't say interesting things, we're talking the nineteen-eighties! and here he is predicting the imminent digital printing revolution to a tee already {just look at us, home-engaging ourselves, in the image industry only thirty years onwards}. it's just that i'd figured him a different technician. as he goes on to explain how different prints of one and the same scene differ in quality and intensity because of the {dark room} performance, ...

... he coyly admits shooting two photos of certain scenes is mandatory, 'for protection'. i can't but admit myself i feel let down, disappointed, somehow unable to shake the deflation from that point on. perhaps i need to study ansel adams again, now with my own eyes, not my former teacher's. perhaps i am no longer the girl i used to be. 

perhaps i should just stick to this week's drawing challenge, hosted by the queen of the castle at the eisenbach~hamburg, {"the longer the title, the nobler its carrier"} ~ who's leading us to many-splendored tiles. ... these tiles in a thrift shop i fell in love with at first sight and i have as good as literally reproduced them. i did slam in an hungarian proverb for fun. watch out for its meaning. ☻


  1. yes, so very beautiful! love the colors on your drawing. photos and tiles interesting, too!
    have a find weekend - by the way: it´s great that you are here again!
    x Stefanie

  2. Nadine...beautiful! And Ansel Adams made gorgeous photographs. I saw a lot of his works during the academy and went several times to Antwerp to visit the photography museum when they exhibited works of him :-)) xxx Ingridjeuh

  3. once again you've given us so much here to ponder. the painting of the tile is lovely....and that's how i feel about facebook - there is a tile on the roof!

    where are the mosaic images from? so sorry mr. adams has disappointed you.....now that is a longer conversation. and finally, great hockney effect on the arnold circus pics! hope it's a good weekend already!

  4. Such a beautiful drawing! And those mosaics! Wooww!!
    Luckily I didn't come across Ansel Adams yet, so now I'll watch his artwork through the eyes of the knowledge you gave me here (you're the teacher, right?). No disappointment then.
    Have a nice sunday, dear! Don't worry too much about this guy's way of shooting. I don't think your new perspective on him will have any effect on your life or artwork. You found your own way long ago!

  5. you even drew the small cracks, i love that,and i always admire the way you work with those felt pens, great nuances
    the mosaics are superb,so many tiny colored stones used to get a very naturalistic effect,the curling, the shadows,

    sometimes the more you know about an artist and his working methods the more you admire him and his art sometimes it's the opposite, his work stays the same it's your view that changed,

    his working method; looking for the imagined, taking the photo and enhance it,excluding spontaneity and randomness ...he must have been very sure of the imagined picture, the result he wanted...interesting

  6. You my friend always find the Amazing .....out in the world......
    Those buildings in your previous post were crazy!

  7. ha!
    and i always thought
    i do not like mosaics
    but these are just wonderful!!!

    and your own work
    you are changing girl
    different ways
    different colors
    I LIKE!


  8. the way I see it, isn't expectation. it's pixels: from the tiniest part to a whole, which is the principal of mosaics, of homeopathy, of traditions and maybe of beauty (disclaimer: I don't know anything at all about art at all!)

  9. Well I have fallen in love with your art featuring the tiles, at first sight. The colours of this composition and that measuring tape along the top and separating the two parts stun me. Love the strong graphics here Nadine. Awesome as always, you are!!! N, xo

  10. How interesting... your words, dear Nadeschda... you feed my mind in different ways!
    What a beautiful mosaic... words... Ansel Adams... and tiles... plants and your painted tiles.

    'Order in freedom is not a mosaic but a field, in which all is mutually influenced'
    free after Wolfgang Metzger, germ. psychologist, 1976

    Thanks for playing, Dear!
    xo Ariane.

  11. Well Nadine, i found myself turning your words over and over in my mind on the morning walk and thinking about Ansel Adams and the difference between randomness and intention in photography. When I think that 'he actually configured his image in his mind beforehand, then went looking for it, made the photo and brought it back to the studio, if necessary enhancing to come as close as possible to his original expectation' I think that is what sets Adams photos apart as Art with a capital A - BECAUSE: That is what painting process is like, eh? configuring an image in ones mind, then looking for it in the marks we make, enhancing to bring it as close as possible to that original vision of our intent.
    Your tile drawing - Wonderful!
    thanks for the thought provoking post, dear Woolf. -sus

  12. Wonderful... and thanks for the links, I'm going to discover a beautiful wolrd ;)))

  13. The botanical sprouting of the mosaic elements captivates!

  14. the theme is up!
    will you join?
    offcourse you will!
    so COME OVER

    Patrice A.

  15. those tiles and your drawing are gorgeous, nadine, and now i'm going to study ansel adams a bit.

  16. wonderful tiles, wonderful beauty painting, great architectur experiments... I missed many posts during my holidays! :-) mano

  17. Gorgeous tiles and the Queen would have been very happy with the DC response you conjoured up complete with very interesting Hungarian proverb.

    Helen x