Archive for March, 2006

Logo Prerogative | Chance Impression

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Change for Quick Impression and Random Linking

The unpronounced logo

Gallery Chance

Original Outhouse Studios Logo
Original Logo found in Galleries

Once again I have mucked with the logos found at Outhouse Studios, I pulled the old faithful off the main page and replaced it with my newest colorful animated version and then added a mini-version of the original logo (above).

For fun I made that a link that when clicked on leads to one of the galleries randomly – for those who can’t or don’t want to decide where they want to go. You need to go to the site to try it.

Logos are actually fascinating – at best they can capture the essence of a business/group etc. with just an image … and achieve recognition quickly.

Usually that happens because we see it over and over again. So having had that concept placed clearly into my head recently, I decided I would leave my logo well enough alone – even though I thought it time for a change and time to do better. That was then… March 9, 10, 13


So part of the creative process is about changing one’s mind – opting to move in a direction that isn’t safe or traditional.

There is a logo game at outhouse studios that may for all I know continue, but it is all about making the right impression quickly. It is amazing how quickly one can look at a site(sight) and move on.

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Raining Inspiration

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Literal Latitude -> Feeling, Process and Intent

Cloud Cover - Digital Painting 2006 - Dan Beck

EnlargeCloud Cover – Digital Painting 2006- Dan Beck

One would never know its been raining here.  Sometimes the clouds just swallow the mountains. I look out, I look up… and see this incredible interplay of cloud and mountain – rain blending the whole scene as though the clouds were bleeding into the hills and the hill/mountains(as I like to call them) disappearing below them.

Indeed the inspiration would be obvious if you were living here too. The response I received today was "That looks familiar".

Yet the curious thing is that there are many things going on with the painting which do not accurately portray what is here. There are shadows where there shouldn’t be, groves of trees kind of hanging in space, a slightly exaggerated cloud density, and a play of light which isn’t quite right.

Recognizing these differences is interesting but the point of bringing them up is about how much latitude there is in portraying a scene. I think sometimes that which holds a piece together, which makes it feel like it should, is not found within the physical strokes;  but rather in the intent and process.

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Bold Painting Glimpse

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Colorful, Brilliant Glow, Quick, Powerful Look

Bold Glimpse - Digital Painting 2006 - Dan Beck

Bold GlimpseEnlarge – Digital Painting – 2006 – Dan Beck

It wasn’t so much sun as color that protruded under the clouds. I couldn’t stay out long – the wind was ferocious.

Even bundled up and being a transplanted Midwest/East Coaster who has picnicked in worse weather did not make me want to persevere.

But that was quite a while ago and I have grown accustomed to mild unassuming weather.

The painting above is a record of the boldness of the evening – the intense billowing dark clouds with brilliant glow beneath. It is a record of the nondescript fields which one barely noticed because the show was on the horizon.

It is a record of the nature of a glimpse – a quick look that only allows you to grasp the essence – and perhaps all that really matters.

It was an incredible sky last night – I only allowed myself moments with it without windows. I didn’t even set out to paint it when I started on the computer – but I couldn’t help myself – it had been that powerful.

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Vibrant Color Painting

Monday, March 27th, 2006

House, Childhood Memory, Structure

House - Digital Painting - 2000(+/-1)

HouseGallery Page – Digital Painting – 2000(+/-1)

Not having a new work to show or rather that I want to show. I came upon this piece. I am not exactly sure when this was created – I know it was pre- 2001- but creation dates for early works got skewed when the images were transferred to a newer computer.

It is housed in the archives – because of space considerations more than anything else. The subject matter of the house – was a vehicle for playing with the medium. The incredibly vibrant colors are of course too strong for a house but are somehow held together by its structure.

When I was a young boy, I remember drawing elaborate houses with porches, decks, and spires and this was kind of a reversion to that time.  I am sure that is one of the things I like about it.

As much as we try to look at our own work objectively or other people’s work – it just isn’t possible.  And frankly, I think it would make them much less rich.

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Digital Painting: Color Added

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Colorize, Comparison, Leaving Open to Imagination

Colorized Vision - Digital Painting 2006 - Enhancement

Colorized VisionEnlarged – Digital Painting 2006

Either below or by following this link you will find another digital painting.  Actually it is the same digital painting before I added color and took it someplace different.

This is a departure from the way I normally work. If I set out to do a piece in color, I generally use color from the outset. But this piece came to me as I was waking in black and white – at least part of it.

I think as an exercise I decided to see what would happen if I added color to the piece. I ended up adding color and texture and working it like I might a normal piece. When I was done I was pleased with the results.

However, having said that – and as much as I love color – I’m thinking I like the black and white movie better. Colorizing just isn’t the same. I would like it just fine if I weren’t comparing it to the black and white version – same as with a colorized movie or a movie and its novel.

But I think like a novel, all good art requires the viewer to fill in some of the blanks – the ones left open to imagination.  And without that – it just cannot possibly be as engaging.

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Digital Painting in Black & White

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Color, Doing Without Ingredient, Experiencing New

Black & White Vision - Digital Painting 2006 - Dan Beck

Black & White VisionFull Size – Digital Painting 2006

I generally paint using color. Color for me is much of the fun. I find great joy in using color. To paint with only black, white, and grays, however, is also fascinating. It is an exercise perhaps like cooking without garlic – which will of course be lost on those who don’t care for garlic.


But the idea – is that it requires one creating without an ingredient one depends upon.

I didn’t set out to do an exercise. I woke up with a vision of the mountains and this bold white area. It wasn’t a completely clear vision, but it was without other color.

It was enough to make me feel like I had to embark on this piece. And even in its finished state I am tempted to add color – another thing I don’t normally do. I am not sure about it yet – but if I do – the “colorized” image will be along soon enough.

And if I do, I hope I pull it off better than adding color to black and white movies – well at least the ones I have experienced – but then who else’s experience are we to draw on?

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Digital Painting and Development

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

Digital Medium: Texture, Collage, Technique Develop

Tractor Sunset - Digital Painting - Fall 2003

Tractor SunsetGallery Page -Digital Painting Fall 2003

Sunset Seeen - Digital Painting Fall 2005

Sunset Seen Gallery Page – Digital Painting Fall 2005

I was noticing the top painting the other day and focusing on the texture in the fields. It reminds me of torn paper or a collage with tissue. I think this is most obvious looking at the largest view.

I like the naive quality to this piece. The way the streaming sunlight is represented, the simple figure on the tractor and the colorful, collage-like sky.

The bottom piece, Sunset Seen, was painted looking from almost the same spot a slightly different direction – two years later. I am putting these together like this because it demonstrates how much technique I have been able to develop in the last couple of years.


Much of what keeps this exciting to me is that there is so much room for growth with the medium. Actually, it is so open ended as far as possiblity that I find myself making additional rules to have the sufficient limits for this medium to work.

In any event, I am not sure that the bottom piece is a better painting, but I do think – looking at the sky, the mountains, the irrigation and numerous other details; it is obvious how much more sophisticated my use of the medium has become. It also is better viewed large.

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Wrap Your Arms Around It

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Seeing, Understanding, Communicating, Feeling

More Warm Hills - Digital Painting - Dan Beck 2005

More Warm HillsGallery Page – Digital Painting 2005

Often I write about trying to convey a feeling in a painting. Often I write about how seeing is completely wrapped up in understanding – how communicating what one sees is about communicating what one is experiencing.

At least for me – that is my interest and focus. When I observe, I am happy and accepting of my being in the picture – I am not a theoretical scientific observer – and frankly don’t think such a thing exists in people – for that matter even in science – but that is another story.

This piece conjures up this discussion because it was all about communicating the feeling these warm hills evoke. They make you want to reach out and hug them – even though you know they aren’t really like that. Perception and understanding confuse each other here – but then that is part of the magic. You see this world which you know to be rough and scraggly – but from your perspective you can’t help but want to wrap your arms around it – if it were possible.

More Warm hills is about that feeling.

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Digital Painting

Saturday, March 18th, 2006

Computer Art, Classifying Medium, Categorizing Creativity

DeSkies - Digital Painting - Dan Beck 2006

Enlarge DeSkies – Digital Painting – 2006

This is my most recent digital painting to date. I find this medium difficult to classify. Digital is how the information is stored – just as music is stored. Digital is synonymous with computer and is about the numeric nature of data.

For me – the use of the term is a bit touchy. Digital painting is the best I have – but it could also refer to altering digital photos or painting them even after printing. Or with the numerical reference, perhaps it even implies some kind of paint by numbers. Computer generated art certainly has that kind of done for you implication.


I suppose how things are arrived at isn’t the biggest issue. Good results are good results and truly as someone desirous of more creativity in the world, I am fine with any and all of it. 

However, I still feel the need for the right term to both lead people to my work and to describe what it is I am doing. Since the majority of digital art examples are coming from a different place, someone searching is more likely looking for that place – anyway that is what I suspect.

The above work is certainly abstract, perhaps ironically even a bit typically digital – but it is my take on an isolated section of sky on one specific night – with a lot of artistic license, a great deal of fluid movement, a lot of overlap – and a strong desire to just keep going until I felt it was done.

And the truth is I really like it and I am not all that sure why.

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Digital Painting: Cloud Shadows

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Capture Feeling, Aesthetic Dictates Painting

Cloud Shadows - Digital Painting 2006- Dan Beck

Larger View of Cloud Shadows – Digital Painting – 2006

I had fun with the clouds in particular on this piece. I kept layering color and texture, swirling, light and dark – trying to capture some of the fluffy cumulus nature.

They billow quite a bit and all in all I am quite pleased with them. Do they look exactly like the clouds I was trying to capture?  Of course not. But then again – they do have the right feeling – and that is even more important.

A section of world put on to two dimensions just isn’t going to be literal – not that there aren’t people who can paint like a photograph. But a photo is also subject to the same two dimensional and frame limitations.

In any event, this was about playing with the medium – trying new ways to portray and letting my own aesthetic for color and somewhat composition (though probably the weak point in this piece) dictate the reality of the painting.

Curious, as I am looking at the work today I can practically feel the wind– something which was undoubtedly there the day I painted this – but not something I was thinking about.

If you didn’t already…Please see enlarged.

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