A response to the post below, 3-2-09
I paint, carve and photograph. I consider the camera a sketch tool, but will sometimes get results that are transcendent of a sketch. The transcendence comes not through "luck", but rather seeing something at the moment, and then bringing to it my experience, energy and thought. Talent is highly overrated, without some energy and thought.
If I do a painting based on a photo, that photo may be the culmination of much time at that location; the painting an amalgam of memory, many photos, and the experience of that time and place. And no part of that, including sweeping the floor in the studio, or a crisis of spirit that sees me going for a long walk with the dog, is not ART.
Addendum: It's all part of the process. I like the idea of art, not ART, no pedestal, thank you. Craft and art are one to me, one process to make something. Others make distinctions, make value judgements as to craft vs. art; I can't dispute some of the distinctions; me doodling on a pad is not as important as a piece with thought and labor expended on it, but I see little distinction between the effort to design a table and that effort on a painting. Or tuning a photograph.