Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jul 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Appetite for Reconstruction

AE_fishLocal orthopedic surgeon Mark Wainer doctors photographs to look like lavish watercolor paintings
Local orthopedic surgeon Mark Wainer has been replacing people’s knees and hips in Santa Cruz for the last 34 years. But his exhibit “Painterly Photographic Art,” viewable at the Felix Kulpa Gallery through Dec. 27, shows his talent for a different kind of reconstruction: He uses the computer programs Photoshop and Painter to make photographs look like watercolor paintings.
Taken in such locales as Paris, Los Angeles and Venice, Wainer’s photos (also viewable at markwainer.com) depict beaches, flowers, city streets, stairways, hillsides, sea cliffs and lighthouses, with the watercolor effect serving to highlight the poignance of these scenes. For an added painterly touch, Wainer prints these images on coated watercolor paper with a rough texture capable of holding a great amount of detail.
The patience and attention to detail that Wainer brings to the operating table are also evident in his photography. “I will work on an image until I think it’s the best image that I can get,” he notes. The surgeon’s reconstructive skills show in his artistic work as well. “I don’t mind putting things together—to add what I need to add to an image or to improve it until it’s as good as I want it to be,” he says. For instance, to add interest and life to his pictures, he sometimes combines images in such a way as to insert people into an otherwise still scene.
Many of the subjects Wainer chooses for photographs are inanimate objects such as buildings or pastures. He says his painterly techniques don’t work well for human portraits, and he doesn’t do much animal photography because he finds it difficult to do anything new and different within that medium.
Wainer had his eyes opened to the possibilities of image manipulation at a photo show he attended in 1991, not long after he first took up black and white photography. Inspired by a Photoshop demonstration at that show, he decided to take a Photoshop class at UCSC as a means of improving his black and white images. “But it turns out, in those days, it was very difficult to do good black and white prints, because they would come out with a greenish tint or a magenta tint,” he recalls. “So I switched to color.” Difficulty in getting sharp color images eventually led the photographer to adopt the painterly techniques he now favors.
Wainer says his goal in creating these images is to combine the best aspects of photography and painting. “I think a camera lets me record the world as it is, from the perspective that I choose, but the painterly techniques allow me to add my interpretation of what I saw or how I thought it could be,” he explains.
The photographer adds that the message he’s conveying through a given picture is usually an optimistic one, emphasizing the inherent beauty of its subject. “For example, if I took a scene in Cinque Terre where there was scaffolding on the buildings, I could paint out the scaffolding,” he offers. “So it’s my vision of the way it could have been, not just exactly how the camera recorded it.”
And how do people tend to react to these photographs? “A lot of times, if it’s a place that’s recognizable, like Chinquatera or Venice, people are reminded of times they were there, in a somewhat idealized view of that area,” Wainer offers. He adds that the painterly effect has thrown many people off: Viewers frequently tell him how much they like his paintings or ask him whether they’re looking at a photograph or a painting.
Does Wainer plan to combine his professional and artistic pursuits by rendering medical photos in watercolor style? “It’s a genre that is wide open,” he says. “Perhaps I can consider it after I am retired.”

Felix Kulpa Gallery: 107 Elm St., Santa Cruz; (408) 373-2854; felixkulpa.com.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Jailbreak with Reality

‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ revisits one of the most notorious studies of all time
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover