Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
May 29th
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

 

Ocean Odyssey

Sailing the high seas from Santa Cruz to French Polynesia, Sally-Christine Rodgers documents the trials, tribulations and joys of exploring the world by boat

 

Gemini Festival of Goodwill, World Invocation Day

This entire week is a preparation by the New Group of World Servers (NGWS) for the June full moon (Tuesday) and to welcome the Forces of Reconstruction, great outer planetary forces streaming into the Earth at the Gemini Solar Festival. The Gemini Festival at the June full moon is called the Festival of Goodwill and World Invocation Day (recitation of the Great Invocation, the mantram of direction for humanity, hourly around the world). During the (12 degrees) Gemini festival, the Wesak blessing of the will-to-good is released and radiated (Gemini distributes) to humanity. When the will-to-good is received, humanity is then able to radiate goodwill to each other and to the kingdoms. The Gemini Festival is the third of the Three Spring Festivals (triangle of Force), setting the spiritual template and resources for Earth for the rest of the year (‘til next spring). This festival recognizes the true spirit of humanity—aspiring toward and seeking the will of God, dedicated to right human relation. At the full moon, the Divine nature of humanity is recognized. Christ stands with humanity, leader of his people, “the Eldest in a great family of brothers” (Romans VIII, 29.) Each year at the Gemini festival, Christ preaches the last sermon of Buddha, His brother, a sermon calling forth human and spiritual unity, represented by an outflow of love (work of the Christ) and wisdom (work of the Buddha). The forces of reconstruction stream in during the Festival, ushering in an era of pronounced creative activity, rebuilding the tangible world on new creative lines. This necessitates the total destruction of the old forms no longer useful for the new world era. Everyone is invited. Join us everyone for this Festival of Goodwill by reciting the Great Invocation.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 29

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

The Main Avant

Jozseph Schultz caters New Music Works’ 35th annual Avant Garden Party, plus brews for a cause

 

What will Santa Cruz be like in the future?

 society that is more awakened and realizes its own value and the beauty of the stunning Earth. Marguerite Clifford, Felton, Nutrition Health Care

 

Chesebro Wines

Piedras Blancas-Roussanne 2011

 

Real Thai Kitchen

Ratana Bowden on why Thai cuisine isn’t as spicy as everyone thinks