“If a man wants to be a painter, he should never look at pictures. “
I am pretty sure by “pictures” Winslow Homer meant “photos.” We all know some artists who only paint by photos. It is as if they are afraid of not capturing a scene perfectly and precisely. Perhaps at one time or another, these artists were humiliated, ridiculed, and shamed when they attempted to paint anything. More times than not, their habitual bullies never possessing any sense of art in any capacity used taunting as dastardly power plays over the victims. Believe me when I say that I too have met this type of bully.
It’s time to break free. This is not to say one cannot keep reference photos. Most good artists have them. But artists should not allow photos to become crutches. For you see, the true beauty of painting from one’s heart is that the artist’s special uniqueness indwells each artwork. And it doesn’t get any better than that!