In the 1970's I often used photographs as an integral part of my work. I used old family snapshots and pictures I had taken to do a series of graphite drawings and watercolor paintings. These works had trompe l'oeil elements and depicted a flat or very narrow picture plane. Looking back I now refer to this as my "obsessive phase".
|Grandma & Grandpa, graphite on paper, 9" X 7", 1975|
|Bobbie With Parrots, watercolor, 5 3/8" X 6 7/8", 1978|
Working from photographs can be alluring and addicting. It vastly expands your potential subject material while simplifying the process of making a picture. Composition, value and hue are all established to some degree. Your goal becomes to "copy" or interpret the photo in some compelling way.
In my estimation many of the drawings and paintings from this period were successful. They transcend the photograph and take on an inner life of their own.