Archive for April, 2006

Clouding Art Print Sizes

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Abstract madras mountains and large format art prints

MoreMountains&Clouds - digital painting & art prints

More Mountain & Cloudsdigital painting -2004 – Dan Beck

Somewhere in the middle of the piece showcased yesterday and the one showcased two days prior, was the creation of the above piece.

The hill mountains are swallowed by clouds – a common occurrence here, but one which remains incredible to look at. The treatment of the mountains was like an abstract painting – a madras collage – not so much about how they look as how they look and feel.

This piece is only being offered in a large format. You can see it gets more interesting with each enlargement, but would become ever more exciting with this madras mountain look exposed.

One would think that with the sophistication of computers, one could create digital paintings which would work in a multitude of sizes right off. It can be done, but not always – and for me it has taken experimentation and development.

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On Being Creative: #9

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Be accepting – regardless of results

Unshared Painting - Hills,Fields,&Sunset

Hills, Fields, & Sunset – unshared digital painting – 2006

Be accepting of finished or unfinished piece – it is a microcosm of the world you inhabit – no matter what it reflects, it is part of you and is illuminating.

One never likes everything one creates and even if one did, it would not be with equal admiration. The key here is to accept the whole gamut of one’s work – not necessarily show it all , but not quickly discard because you see a flaw.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t see ways in which even the best of pieces could be better, but it is an advantage to be comfortable enough to get beyond one’s own prejudices.

I am sharing the above work – because it just never seemed that great to me. I was done – didn’t want to work on it anymore, but never quite felt like I pulled off what I wanted.

I probably should have dug down deeper – but this is the most recent ho-hum work. Having said that – I guess I walk the talk – cause I rather like the piece today.

In any event, the rest of this series – at least the points can be downloaded at – free downloads.

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Digital Painting: Recollection and Art Prints

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Energetic portrayal of looming clouds and hill and mountain landscape

Clouds on the Mountains - digital painting - 2003

Clouds on the Mountain – digital painting – 2003

Its fun to see this piece particularly in relation to the piece below or by clicking. The two aren’t the same scene, but they are practically the same theme.

The above piece was bold and energetic. The focus is on the clouds. I was content at the time with this looser overlapping transparency style of portraying the mountains and hills.

If my recollection is correct, this is one of the first pieces I did when I realized and figured out how to adjust my canvas to be horizontal.

In some programs it would be obvious – but actually nothing is obvious until you know.

The piece was created with less actual pieces and will only enlarge to a 22×28" size. But unlike some of the newer work – it looks complete printed on 13×19" watercolor paper.

My favorite aspects of this piece are how naively flat it all looks while at the same time showing depth; and then of course I love the many toned ever-looming clouds and the checkerboard shadows they cast.

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On Being Creative: #8

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Humans are creative by nature

Spinach Harvest - Digital Painting 2005

Spinach HarvestDigital Painting – Dan Beck – 2005

Realize that we are all creative beings – by virtue of our ability to talk with each other and express even the most simple things, we all possess an element of creativity not generally recognized.

Just as reading a book requires creativity so does appreciating a work of art. Everyone has a part in creativity whether they are aware of it or not.

Moreover, it is our obligation as creative people to allow others their creativity and encourage it.

The complete document On Being Creative with all ten points is available at "Free Downloads".

Though the above point feels complete enough – I cannot express strongly enough how being creative is actually part of our nature and its suppression is part of how we have structured the world – treating and replacing people like things.

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The Art of the Print

Monday, April 17th, 2006

How the eye moves and sees disparities are behind the art

Compressed View - digital painting for art prints

Compressed ViewEnlarge – Digital Painting 2006

Yesterday I wrote about the various printing size options the above piece and others of similar origin size have available.

Today – because I really happen to love this piece I thought I would write a little about the art itself. For the finest printing can’t make something which is mediocre good.

When I view this piece my eye moves – it meanders back up into the clouds, wanders over to the selectively sunlit hills, passes into the blue sky – working its way around the trees and then back down again.

I found this quote at the end of a web-posted paper

"I have also noticed two people ‘madly’ in love ‘cannot keep their eyes off each other,’ and there is considerable eye movement.

This leads me to wonder if what makes an object ‘beautiful’ is neither the object nor the subject per se, but rather the relationship between subject and object expressed as eye movements."

What I saw the day that made this impression was wider – was impossible to fit onto a page – but held the dark mountains and ominous clouds in one hand and the hope of green and sunlight in the other.  

As an artist I love such disparities. As a human being I love that there is such a fine line between gloom and glorious.

If interested in purchasing an original print of the above piece – please email and reference title "Compressed View".

See Also

  • Tehachapi
    Another work of similar size and prints
  • Art as Eye Movement
    Most pertinent parts are at end – eye movement may be incredible indicator.

Art Print Sizes

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Digital painting template creates special options

Compressed View - digital painting for art prints

Compressed ViewEnlarge – Digital Painting for Art Prints

Most of the recent work I have been doing has slightly different dimensions. Last fall, with the desire to get more of a scene portrayed on the paper, I created a template which filled the 13×19" Japanese Watercolor paper which I print on at the house studios. My previous templates were designed to enlarge to more standard proportions – 16×20, 22×28, 24×30, 28×36, and 32×40.

These new works are longer and thinner requiring 18×24, 20×28, and 24×36 inch frames. I had done a few which filled the 13×19" paper similarly, but this new size looks good both small and large and that has been a lot of the challenge for me.

The work above is part of this new size. The print I created at outhouse studios is wonderful – and I know it would look great large as well. I have experimented a lot with the proper pixel sizes – too large of a piece looks lousy small, and of course, too small a piece will never enlarge properly – flexibility for multiple sized work is a great bonus with this medium, but has also been a challenge.

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Multi-Sized Art Prints: Valley Work

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Digital Painting Works at Different Sizes

Valley Work - Digital Painting and Art Prints

Digital Painting – Valley Work  Dan Beck – 2005 

Like many pieces, when I first finished this I wasn’t quite sure if I pulled it off – even though I was pleased with it.  After two artist friends both said they liked the work, I realized it had captured what I wanted and the liberties with color and portrayal did not take away from the end results; but in fact, made the finished piece that much more interesting.

This piece was designed to be printed large – and from what I can tell would look its best at the largest 32×40" size – measure it sometime – it is a big piece. In order to grasp all that is contained – please look at the enlargement and the details which follow.

For this medium, one of the things that indicates success to me is whether a work looks good at all sizes. Valley Work has a nice balance of both color and form and is pleasing even small – but the figures, though visible in the smallest size print remain pretty obscure.

They were intended to be swallowed up by the landscape – but not go unnoticed.

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On Being Creative: #7

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Savor the creative process – enjoyment comes through

Process - gallery page tired - gallery page My Series 12 - gallery page
Process                  tired                        My Series 12

Full article is available as Free Download at – for it is the process which is reflected in the final work anyway.

Savor the creative process: if you enjoy the process it comes through, if it is tedious and tired, that also comes through. Not all creative endeavors will come out to be something you want to keep – but the process will stay with you no matter how the outcome is.

There are many folks who feel that this is the principal in life – that it is the path and the growth which matter; the rewards are simply gratuitous.

What a great word "savor" is – savor food, creative process, life itself. In the above works, Process was about a new technique I was playing with, tired was what I was and quit – but liked the piece where I had stopped, and My Series 12 just looks like I was having fun.

Just by having our attention elsewhere, it is sadly, too easy to not savor … life.

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Art Prints from River Run 1

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Digital Painting Yields Multitude of Different Size Prints

River Run 1 - Digital Painting & Art Print

River Run 1 – Digital Painting 2005

I thought of featuring this piece today because it is one which I have printed and framed 32×40". It is a wonderful example of a digital painting which can be printed in a multitude of sizes.

This piece works well printed at 13×19" and right on up. If you look at the enlargement and the details at the 32×40" size – you will see how much texture and contrast is in this work.

I am particularly drawn to the overgrown fields – I am not sure what was growing, seemingly neglected, waiting for mowing. I had fun with the stones in the river and the layered texture of the mountains.

I took liberties with where the river actually runs, but this is the feeling of the Salinas River near the Santa Lucia mountains.

You can have my print on it.

See Also

  • River Run 1
    Gallery Page – Enlargement/Details – Art print purchasing options for this piece
  • Ann Sanders Paintings
    Not someone I know – but nice views from this area and south

On Being Creative: #6

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Keep Moving to stay in the Creative Flow

Irrigate2 thumbnail to Gallery Field2Mount-thumbnail to gallery Beyond the Ivy Fence -thumb2Gallery
Irrigate 2               Field 2 Mount        Beyond the Ivy Fence

The entire PDF document "On Being Creative" can be downloaded free at

Keep Moving – If you find yourself stuck in a certain area, try not to languish over it. Move on to an area you can work on and come back to it.

There is a flow to creating and one needs to stay inside that flow, or the process and the creativity bog down.

Those trouble spots tend to get solved easier as the other parts come into being. Sometimes they even gracefully eliminate themselves.

I can’t say that I remember getting stuck in any of the above pieces, though I am not immune. And it is common for anyone creating to step back, give the work some time, and come back to it fresh.

The concept of keeping moving is more about not working something over and over and over trying to get it just so … and becoming frustrated. Frustration, though not uncommon in the creative process, is not the ideal creative partner.

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