Archive for August, 2006

Light Like Hope Through the Grey

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

technique was innovative at time – only the feeling has lasted

Light Thru Rain Cloud - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2005

Light Thru Rain Cloud – digital painting / art prints – Dan Beck

When I completed this in 2005, I was really ecstatic about the way I created depth in the cloud. The technique was innovative for me and I felt I had almost expressed the incredible size and power of the cloud.

One can’t duplicate nature; but one can pay tribute and perhaps create something worthy in its own right.

There is something almost black and white about this piece. The smaller round mountain was glowing despite the overcast day – a phenomena I love here – but still the world looks grey – and it was.

I have an art print of this framed 28 x 36 inches with an image size of 23.5 inches by 31 inches – there was a minor imperfection at the printer’s so I have an extra. I am generally a color person – so it is not my all time favorite – but it still has the quality of that grey day and the hope of a glowing mountain despite it.

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Give and Take of Creating Art

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

balancing impression and intention with work itself

Field Flat - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2006

Field Flatdigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2006

For me art is a give and take process. I had seen a strawberry picker in a similar posture – holding an empty flat and I wanted to capture that impression.

I created a backdrop – a non-specific but nevertheless somewhat accurate view of the Salinas Valley.

When I started I was expecting a larger figure and less background – but the painting pushed me in certain directions.

I may very well approach this theme again – to create something more iconic – but I actually find this image very pleasing and enjoy looking at it. I like the way my eye travels down to the other field worker and how it feels like the man holding the flat is on the verge of, if not already, moving down to join him.

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Cezanne Left His Impression

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

influence and innovation of the master

Hill Mountain Fog - digital painting Mount 1 - digital painting - Dan Beck 2005

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a program on PBS about Paul Cezanne.  In  the show, Picasso was quoted as saying Cezanne was the "father of us all". 

Cezanne was his own man – he painted as he felt he should and did not believe in blindly following the style of his time.  His work is impressionistic but slips into abstraction before anyone else even thought to see that way.

Cezanne has always been one of my favorites – how could he not be?  There are plenty of places to buy an art print reproduction of Paul Cezanne’s on the net and elsewhere. 

On the other hand, it is also possible to buy original art prints  – affordable due to digital painting – and though not a now tried and true classic – perhaps innovative in the same way as Paul Cezanne was – at least it is my intent to follow my own path.

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Flying Sticks, Dropped Deadline

Monday, August 28th, 2006

jazz painting – better heard, not seen

Vertical Jazz - digital painting and art prints - 2006 - Dan Beck

Vertical Jazzdigital painting /art prints – Dan Beck -2006

I had intended on entering this piece in a local competition for jazz art that is going on this week in an anticipation of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

But I didn’t pay close attention to the date it needed to be dropped off and such is life – another missed deadline – and another "what if" I don’t need to really trouble myself over. It wasn’t really that important or I would have made certain. 

But – since I can’t share it in Seaside – I figured I would post it again today and maybe share it that way.  And perhaps some other time in a different show – I will set it up to be seen…

or better yet heard.

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Putting Oneself In the Scene

Monday, August 28th, 2006

digital painting for CD cover invites imagination

CD Cover - Caribbean 4

Caribbean 4 – CD Cover that went unused

Another day without a new piece of art – not really a big deal but it makes it a different challenge to write.

This piece came up today for me in three contexts – so I thought I would share it.

This digital painting was created to be a CD cover and I doubt it would be able to make anything but a smaller sized art prints.  

I love the couple’s crossed legs – probably because I love that myself – but also the silliness of colored toe nails and the fact that is all that is visible.

But what a nice scene – between the beach, water, and colorful sails – it is most inviting – and I doubt I am the only person who finds themselves imagining being under the umbrella.

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Valley Work: digital painting and art prints

Friday, August 25th, 2006

breaking the rules of visual sense

Valley Work - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2005

Valley Work – digital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2005

Funny I should want to write about this piece as an art print … because I have yet to see it printed at optimum size.  I can see sections of it at the proper size on my computer monitor – but not the whole piece at once.

It is, however, quite wonderful even printed at 13 x19".  I like the piece because it wasn’t about rules – the yellow and orange sky – just seemed right – the chaotic feeling to the land and dirt – didn’t have to make complete visual sense – it just worked.

On top of it – the statement – which I recall clearly at the time – the tractor driver I had never seen waving hello while my neighbors who I did know, ignored me from even closer.

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Following One’s Creative Path

Friday, August 25th, 2006

uniqueness and acceptance

Mountain-Sails Salinas Valley 1 Flying-thru-Sunfire Valley Work

Four digital paintings for art prints – Dan Beck 1999 – 2005

Since I can, I thought I would write about a subject which has been on my mind. It has to do with following one’s creative path and the balance with being received.

When is unique too unique? Is there such a thing?

The truth is most people like what they are familiar with – people seek out bands which play all songs they know.

Art in a geographic area typically looks a lot like other art in the area – is it because that is what sells? Or is it communal influence. And after all, we expect beach paintings at the beach…

None of us lives in a vacuum – creativity is always influenced – but sometimes I wonder whether we have evolved enough to not starve Van Gogh.

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Sketched Impression Focus

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

depth of field, workers, limited exposure, and time constraints

Break Line Hoe - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2006

Break Line Hoedigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2006

There is a lot of activity in the fields these days – too much to really capture. What I like about this piece is how the line of workers are being swallowed by the field.

For the record is was a field of immature romaine lettuce. What was also interesting about what I viewed was that despite the short visibility due to fog, you could still get a good sense of the depth of this field.

Those were the things I concentrated on conveying when I created this digital painting. The figures are simple, but then I only got a glimpse of them driving by – and time constraints made me need and want to create this more like a sketch.

For art prints of this digital painting, please email:

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Experimental Fields

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

fumigation – painting no accident

Experimental Fields - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2005

Experimental Fieldsdigital painting / art prints – DB – 2005

I played image roulette today to come across this piece and therefore feature it. But like I always say nothing is by accident.

Actually, I had been thinking about blogging about this again because I just received notice that there will be methyl bromide fumigation near my house sometime soon.

The scene above is actually accurate with workers working right next to the danger sign. Most of the fumigant is released the first day, but nevertheless a scary scene.

I had a terrible reaction last year – though not corroborated by doctors or agriculture commission – process of elimination says it was the methyl bromide.

Like an antibiotic – it is a complete sterilizer for the fields.

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Sunset Art

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

first digitally painted sunset – abstract, brilliant, lasting

Sunset - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2000

Sunsetdigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2000

It is interesting – when I created this piece, I thought I had said what needed to be said about a sunset. I had built this incredible show – out of almost tissue like overlapping transparencies.

The image is rather abstract but nevertheless looking unmistakably like a brilliant sunset. The multiple hills are like the land here, but in a way not so much seen as felt and the clouds crescendo towards the sky.

I was not bashful with color and Sunset has remained a strong piece even though my sunsets since are more sophisticated.

See Also

  • Sunset
    availability of art prints for digital painting – Sunset
  • West Valley Sunset
    photoblog of Micah Lauer – looked around a little – some nice images on this site