Archive for February, 2006

Importance of Creativity

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Individuality, Curiosity, Appreciating, Change

Light Shining Thru - Digital Painting 2005 - Dan Beck

Gallery page – Light Shining Thru – Digital Painting 2005

So why is creativity so important for our world?

We are creative beings – when we communicate we formulate sentences and capture new ideas. Our individuality is wrapped up in our ability to be creative.

Where is magic still found in this world? In beauty, in love, in the spark of an ah-ha! Curiously, just like reading requires creativity/imagination, so does viewing art or actively listening to music, or viewing a play etc.

The audience is required to put the world together in new ways. Such gymnastics is what keeps up alive – keeps us young – keeps us nimble enough to change with the changes that necessarily come in life.

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Finished Digital Painting

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Final Path Taken, Technique & Subject Matter

Finished digital painting Horizon 4-2006-Dan Beck

Click for Enlargement – Horizon 4 – Digital Painting 2006

If one looks at the previous sequence of images (below or Part 1, Part 2)of this piece unfinished, there is a more complete story than just the finished piece. Of course, the point of this series is that there is always such a tale of different directions in any piece.

Part of the creative process is the act of choosing what path or route to take. For me working in this digital painting medium, there are many different techniques at my disposal – just like with a more physical style of painting.

The fun, the challenge, the intrigue of the process is bound up with problem solving and choosing and developing techniques. Even if the finished piece is to represent nothing more than the finished piece itself – there are choices about how to create or represent the image.

In this particular case, the final choice to add field workers was the final choice – I didn’t know I needed or wanted them until I got to the final stage.  I do feel it gives the piece that extra something it needed, but the scene I basically sketched in is also very much around these days – workers milling around – squatting, sitting, weeding and stripping the immature berries for better production later

– at least that is what I think they are doing.  As you can see from the painting, they are not all that close.

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Directions in Art

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Simplicity, Irresistible Play, Improvement, Doubt

Unfinished state - Horizon 2 - third stopping point

Unfinished state – Horizon 2 – third stopping point

The first two unfinished stages to this piece can be found below or by clicking here.

I added a great deal of texture from the last stage, but the point of this writing is more about the different directions one can go.  After making all the changes, I wasn’t so sure I had improved over the original feeling of the piece. There is always beauty in simplicity. On the other had one needs to enjoy the process of creating enough to feel the accomplishment.

Next stage - unfinished Horizon

Next stage of Unfinished Horizon

Between the top stage and the bottom stopping point, I wasn’t sure the direction I wanted to go. But I started playing with some copying and pasting – a computer tact that is sometimes irresistible. 

The work does now look more collage-like but it is also feels more dynamic – but then where is the simplicity of yesterday?

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Horizons: Painting Paths

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Painting Stopping Points – Painting Development

Unfinished work - first stage - click to enlarge

Unfinished Horizon – First Saved State

I have been talking about colorgradients – because that is what really got me excited about digital painting.  With a little bit of color choosing assistance, the computer could produce a color gradient smoothly and to my liking.

On top of this, I was able to figure out a way to paint with these gradients and overlap their translucency.  In the start above – these overlapping color gradients are particularly clear – and pleasing as they sit at this stage.

Second Horizon stopping point

Second Horizon stopping point

Essentially this is more of the same.  I continued the overlapping, tightening up the distances, adding more passes, and mountains.  It is becoming more interesting without losing the original course.

A piece can be stopped at many different stages or taken in many different directions. We always try to choose the best path – whether there is such a thing or not.

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Digital Painting Figures In

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Art at a Glance, Interpretation and Limits

Hoe Dance - Digital Painting - 2005 - Dan Beck

Hoe Dance – Digital Painting 2005

This digital painting is another piece from the NEW Figures Art Gallery.  The piece is based on a drive by glance at two field workers hoeing in unison – no one else close by – working one in front of the other – the motion a dance.

Whether I pulled off their synchronicity or not, I can’t very well say. But I did manage to get their proximity and aloneness in the field.

From an art perspective, the fields have this wonderful texture – creating a blanket which we don’t normally view fields as – but it is often how I see.

The figures also have something pretty unusual going on. Though not intended to be anatomically accurate – they nevertheless carry a power and resolve which I am pleased came through.

When I do figures, I generally create them in one stroke of the mouse and then fill in and embellish as necessary. This partly came about because of the medium itself – not allowing for more than one correction back – as though oil painting were less forgiving.  Though to some extent I can fix and patch and correct – there are limits to it – and as I keep saying limits are valuable.

There is complexity and naiveness in this art.  The medium, my physical skills, and vision all provide limits and this gives the work a lot of its unique character.

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Digital Painting: Discussing a Piece

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Digital Medium, Gradients, Washes, Texture, Material

Afternoon Overlap - Digital Painting -2005 - Dan Beck

Afternoon Overlap – Digital Painting – 2005 – Landscape Art Gallery

This particular piece was successful because of the feeling it invokes – well at least in me. The overlapping of color is quite characteristic of the type of thing one can do using the digital medium.  Not to say with washes, one can’t do similar things on canvas or directly on paper- but the gradients and transparencies overlap nicely using the computer.

This is actually one of the things I  particularly like about using this medium.  I have discussed the overlapping gradients at another time in this blog and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

It is one of the backbones of my painting technique and this particular piece shows it off.

The other thing I like in particular about this piece is how warm the texture makes it all feel. It is almost like the hills are made of material. And that is indeed how this particular view of the different colored lettuces growing on the overlapping fields made me feel. The mountains from this particular vantage point were all you could see behind the hills.

Though my approach is once again not all that literal – it does manage to capture what I experienced and create an image which I feel is also pleasing in itself.

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Featured Digital Painting

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Perspective, Depth, Warmth, Texture

Foothill Views - Digital Painting - Dan Beck - 2005

Foothill Views – Digital Painting -2005

There are a number of things I like about this painting. First off – there is a great sense of depth and perspective. This section of the Santa Lucia foothills looks out into the Salinas Valley for an incredible distance. This is just a part of the typical view one might see.

I also love the big swirl of the grape rows – and the two people on a tractor was really stolen from seeing them on the road that day. And even though they are fairly non-descript in color – they have a 3 dimensional quality which is kind of fun and rather captured they way those two guys looked and made me feel that day.

Other things I really enjoy are the warm quality in the green section of fields – looks like wool – not so much what was there but what came out in the process of painting. If you look at the largest view and details you can see what I mean pretty clearly – plus the texture in the tractor tires is pretty cool too.

Anyway – I am sharing this piece today – because it is one of those pieces that has grown on me – the overall color scheme not so exciting – but the piece I think works.

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Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Shared Aesthetic, Process, Unique, & Sameness

Meaning - Digital Painting 2006- Dan Beck

Meaning – Digital Painting 2006 – Larger Meaning

We hear all the time, you can find anything on the internet.  It amused me one day that I should do a search for meaning on google. Not really expecting to find enlightenment – which I suppose could also be searched for – but curious.

So as I write this and if you eventually find this from such a search – you will find the above painting which I did quickly.

The title is not really suggesting that the work is so profound, but I will offer this. The piece is completely about the process, it is about using motion that is uniquely mine given my physical attributes and limitations. It is about using a language and aesthetic which are completely shared.  It is about the view from my perspective.

We are unique in our bodies and the same in our shared culture and spirit.  Meaning can be found in the differences as well as in the sameness; but if too different or too the same – there is little if any meaning to be found.

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Abstract Art Gallery

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

My Series – Abstract, Exploration, Comparison

My Series 1 - Digital Painting - 2005 - Dan Beck

My Series 1 – Digital Painting – Abstract Art Gallery

For me creating abstract work has always been a kind of special area. Without caring about representing anything in particular, it is a safe place to explore a medium, try new things, and simply enjoy the movement and process of creating.

The above piece is the start of something I felt might be worth pursuing. I liked the way the image is on the cusp between something tangible and something completely free form. It wasn’t particularly intentional – just the outgrowth of play.

The texture working in and out of the colors and forms also appealed to me a great deal. I have always been fascinated with the empty space as much as the form. Ever since my first sculpture exposure – it has become obvious how important the empty space is to the filled space and vice versa.

Color is the same way of course – being only a particular color because of the relationship to the colors next to it.  A theme I am sure I have touched on before – comparison is part of the daily fabric of our perception.

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Bottles in the Kitchen

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Digital images – Digital Song

Digital Photograph Manipulated Digital PhotographDigital Painting - Dan Beck - 2006

Digital Photograph         Manipulated              Digital Painting

The below lyrics are what these images are all about. They also formed a good backdrop for discussing some of the different kinds of digital art.

The story is a simple one – my housemate opened wine he didn’t like – nor anyone else and left them languishing in the kitchen.  But the night was really wonderful for me and my to become sweetheart  – the bottles have just sat there. 

Bottles in the kitchen
Red wine that was no good
Under cork fermenting
So sweet misunderstood

We didn’t drink them
But they manage to mark the time
They must be there to remind us
Of the day our worlds first intertwined

Bottles in the Kitchen
Sit like soldiers waiting
Asking to be uncorked
So Quietly disarming

Bottles in the kitchen
Half empty and still half full
Labels facing outward
Corked to keep from being spilled

Bottles in the Kitchen
Trophies of a strange sort
Opened the night we realized
Our love had become uncorked

Please listen to song – Bottles In The Kitchen -Link should open in its own window – allowing you to listen and look over lyrics or other articles on the site.

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