Archive for January, 2007

Not So Quick Study

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

composition for a non-specific subject

Quick Study 2 - Dan Beck - digital painting for art prints - 2007

Quick Study 2 – Dan Beck – digital painting for art prints – 2007

The process of creating is almost always interesting. By the time I got to this stage, this digital painting was no longer a quick study… but it did start out that way.

I have had enough of an absence from painting – that I did not want to retrieve a subject – this is no place in particular – something I do from time to time – but it definitely is here.

I am happy with the composition – the eye-flow – the richness of color and the feeling it evokes.

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Clouding the Mountains

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

size obscures details, madras colors, and enveloping clouds

More Mountain & Clouds - Dan Beck - digital painting / art prints 2004

More Mountain & Clouds – Dan Beck – digital painting / art prints 2004

The clouds do come in and swallow the mountains. The mountains do not look so madras like. They do have color in them, but not quite so obvious.

The transparent nature of some of the clouds and the blue sky poking through, I know to be true as well.

I know this is representative of what is, but I am not sure it is as strong in the category of beautiful in its own right.

A similar scene was tackled earlier by me as a digital painting and has been tackled several times since – a more recent take. Like many of the pieces from this time, this was intended to be quite large and hard to envision even with the enlarged details.

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Art and Audience

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

compulsory connection and continual challenge

All That Jazz - Digital Painting - 2006 - Dan Beck

All That Jazz – digital painting / art prints – 2006 – Dan Beck

I happened upon an article today – actually it happened upon me by having ages ago signed up for related stories at

The story is about how it isn’t enough to be a good musician, one must make oneself heard – creating or developing venues as necessary.

Art is no different I think – it is not enough just to create wonderful art – it must be viewed. By its very nature, all art requires an audience; and even the artist as audience, though sometimes sufficient, views in the context of his own culture.

But having said all that it doesn’t make it easier for an artist to both have to pioneer with his art and with creating his own audience – they are sadly not always compatible.

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Salinas Valley

Monday, January 15th, 2007

accurate feeling without being literal – appreciating ambiguity

Big Valley1 - to gallery page and art print options

Big Valley 1 – Digital Painting / Art Prints – Dan Beck 2005

What I see today is the geometry of lines – the exaggerated rows of crops or dirt – creating a backdrop both unmistakable and unreal.

I like the way the foreground pokes out of the next layer – making one unclear as to whether everything is at the same height or up a level of hill.

I love the lines which look like a shirt and the tissue like nature of the mountains. It is far from literal – but I know this place…

This is the valley I see so regularly – but also a place of its own.

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Composite Colors and Winter Abstraction

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

elements of a literal time

Winter Colors - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2006

Winter Colors – digital painting /art prints – Dan Beck 2006

Despite the symmetry of the mountain peak in the center, I still enjoy the feeling of this piece.

The colors are true to winter here, but the curving strips over the land creating a mounded look are from who knows where.

I think I was working towards a more finished look but opted to quit before I got there. Sometimes one likes a stage enough to stop there – I am assuming that is what happened here.

The look is a bit uncharacteristic – though my style typically includes abstract elements.  A digital painting of mine that is this worked is usually more literal. But then again this was more of a composite – pulling the man holding the dirt out of some former memory.

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Self Portrait

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

a traditional subject with some prompting

Self Portrait - Dan Beck - digital painting - 2007

Self Portrait – Dan Beck – digital painting 2007

I was asked to do my self portrait. An artist friend of mine was interested in seeing how I would deal with the face I think. Seeing all the color in my work made him wonder – since (I am guessing) most of his current work is about portraiture.

So there I am – with the obligatory somewhat troubled artistic look – not that I am happy all the time – but probably more than appears here.

But then again, I think this is accurate to how I view myself when I am alone – there is intensity and desire for something better – but there is also a slight smile.

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Digital Dirt

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

movement and color for a field in the hand

Field Hand - digital painting - art prints - Dan Beck 2006

Field Handdigital painting – art prints – Dan Beck 2006

I am realizing that this is the last piece of last year for me. I wanted to take the concept of the man with dirt in his hand to another level.

Obviously, I could not resist the Field Hand pun. I worked on this piece quite a lot – sometimes a mistake as many will attest. But I don’t really care about that today. Suffice it to say that although the piece was fun – it did not come easily.

As a result, I am not sure if I hooked it or not – but I do know that there is a great deal of movement and a great deal of color …

and I think Marc Chagall would be pleased -certainly not the same but quite reminiscent.

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Warm and Textured Image

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

transient life, celebratory sky

Sunset for Andrea - digital painting - 2005 - Dan Beck

Sunset for Andreadigital painting / art prints – 2005

Not feeling much like writing today – sure I am not the first one. I played the random image game and came up with this painting twice.

Since I was thinking about Andrea earlier today – it should not really be a surprise. Her life ended way too young but her presence like the record of this painting continues on.

This painting reminds me of a blanket – it has warmth and texture and covers the viewer in a glow. The sunset was of course more amazing -but then again – it was transient like a life.

Despite the sad day – this was a celebratory sky.

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