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Studio: international art — 1.1893

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Sketching from Nature

SKETCHING FROM NATURE. BY aS \ h°pe/r° f™' j?fd^frous J1™1 ^

ALFRED HARTLEY. most unsat.sfactory. Of photography generally far
be it from me to speak in disparaging terms, recog-

The stamp of hurry is seen everywhere nising as I do the immensely interesting results

and the brand of haste marks the time obtained by its aid, and alive as I am to its

we live in. There is a tendency, visible on all manifold merits in a variety of directions other than

sides, for the machine to encroach more and more that of assisting the artist.

on handicraft, and the craftsman, to enable him to It is the use of the camera in place of the sketch-
keep pace with the hour, turns his back on his book against which my arguments are directed,
craft and becomes machinist, if not machine. and it is the poverty of result obtained by the one

It would be strange if, under such circum- . which I would contrast with the educational influ-

stances, Art were not affected by the speed which is ence of the other. From personal experience I

so woefully characteristic of our day, and unfortu- know how little the camera can assist, and I am

nately evidences are not wanting to show that it is convinced that for the higher purposes of the

so influenced, and that to an extent which is often artist it is little short of valueless. Those who hope

fatal to the best interests of Art. by its aid to make their study of Nature lighter and

The machine encroaches here also, and painters easier are foredoomed to disappointment, and will

—many of them at least—are heard to talk spe- before long recognise the fact that the finer qua-

ciously about walking hand-in-hand with science, hties of Nature's effects, or those which appeal to

and discourse in a way they consider convincing the artistic sense as such, are not revealed by

about the camera being the handmaid of the photography.

artist; indeed the snap of the instantaneous Art is long, and the camera will never make it

shutter is heard on all sides, the odours of " pyro " easy or short. The power to see things beautifully,

(a loving abbreviation for pyrogallic acid) and of in the most beautiful way is, I suppose, that which

other developers pervade the air, and while the constitutes the artist. It is this lofty view of Nature,

Ross or Dalmayer replace the lens of nature, the this power of seeing the simplest things in beauti-

sensitised film and printing frame supply, in ful fashion, which stamps him as one of the few,

numbers of cases, the place of sketch-book and and immediately makes him valuable to us and

pencil. gives interest to all he has to say. By his person-

And why not indeed? except that the system, ality and by individual view of things he affects us,


I jjr

• /•.•••

from a pencil sketch by charles j. watson, r.p.e.

I. No. 5.—August, 1893.