On Dan’s blog there has been some discussion of the work of Barbara O’Toole. O’Toole’s work is well-known and her reputation is solid with Femdom fans. I myself enjoy some of her work, but I do so while recognizing it for what I strongly believe it is: high quality manip. I say this because of how the work struck me initially and then how that reaction was reaffirmed by certain pieces that are clearly doctored photos.
Subjects have a way of occupying space, whether it’s in real life or a photo.....just look around your room. In painting, an artist attempting realism to some degree paints that cohesive atmosphere into the composition. Anything that ignores that relationship of object to space and to other objects risks resembling paper dolls laid on a background photo….or “Colorforms” for those who remember those. LOL
Where a manipulated photo can appear more convincing is in situations where the depth of the photo is maintained and the underlying photo obscured.
Even using a camera as a direct aid for art is nothing new. Vermeer had his camera obscura and even my own father used an artograph to plot his paintings directly onto a paper and then onto a canvas. I myself may even resort to the same means for an upcoming painting. Why? Well first off, at least with Vermeer and my father, they are also the one finding and or assembling the subject and then personally taking the picture and using it as a guide for their own work….a work that in the end will be about more than merely copying a subject precisely. And a work that in the end is a PAINTING.....not a DRAWING.
See, the other issue for me has to do with terminology and please keep in mind, just like “theory” in science versus its daily usage has a different meaning, Art too has its nuanced definitions:
Painting is an artistic expression using colored pigment as the primary medium. Drawing is doing the same thing primarily through the use of line. While a drawing can have halftones and shading, line is the master, much like color is the mistress of painting. Unlike painting which implies paint, drawing can be done with anything that can make a line, be it pencil, charcoal, ink, or other. But a tracing is not a drawing. So since the work resonates with so many, ( even as it also disturbs others with her youthful subjects), and is often of exceptional quality, let's recognize Barb O'Toole as the reigning "Queen of the Femdom Manip". It's a title that is not only deserved .....but accurate.