Archive for April, 2007

Impression of the Glowing Sky

Monday, April 30th, 2007

picking the moment to share

Glowing Sky - digital painting - Dan Beck 2005

Glowing Skydigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2005

I just finished a painting with a sunset – but am not ready to share it on the internet – haven’t even printed it for myself yet. But I had a quick opportunity to write and I thought of this digital painting.

I love the colors of this piece – the angles – the glow of the clouds and sky – the way the mountains almost float themselves – begging the question are the clouds moving or the mountains or is everything still?

This is an incredibly fragile moment as anyone and everyone who has ever seen a sunset can attest. Deciding the moment and look I wanted to capture that evening was probably as much of a challenge as painting.

I don’t paint from photos – nothing adamant here – just don’t want to – it is about capturing the memory – capturing the impression the particular moment leaves – and giving that impression back.

As always (and forgive me here), I hope I have not given the wrong impression.

See Also

  • Glowing Sky – current purchasing options for original art prints of above digital painting
  • Impressionist Art Gallery – see other images from Dan Beck and Outhouse Studios and information about impressionism
  • Claude Monet’s Impression Sunrise – this was the first art related site I could find on Google – looking up simply “impression” but turns out to be kind of fun adjusting the brightness of the sun on Monet’s work

Glimpse of Freedom

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Bold strokes: Digital painting with fervor

Bold Glimpse - Digital Painting 2006 - Dan Beck

Bold GlimpseEnlarge – Digital Painting – 2006 – Dan Beck

When I first wrote about this – it was more like a short story or prose – I had fun writing but it was probably more about the writing and the evening than the art itself.

Digital Painting is a lot of fun for me. It didn’t start out that way – it was mostly frustrating – though I laughed a lot thinking – how could anyone ever learn to paint this way.

This particular painting attacks the sky with a fervor – the strokes are bold – intensity to match the evening though obviously beyond literal. The light shining through becomes that much more inviting as a result.

I have always been happy with this painting – it feels like it is something perhaps more unique to me – I left the white gap – because I liked it – swirled because it was fun and generally treated the canvas like I owned it.

I am not always able to paint this freely – particularly when there is a place or feeling I am trying to communicate.

See Also

Seeing Without Crossing The Line

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

new look at old line

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

Break Line Hoedigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2006

I am pretty sure that I took this digital painting for granted shortly after I had completed it. Perhaps it was because I had done so many worker in the field paintings at the time. Perhaps I found it too overwhelmingly one color – but today I really like it.

One thing I had overlooked or forgotten are the two high tension wire towers in the fog – they have always reminded me of robots or animated characters. Interesting – in that the people with hoes look very comic strip today – blank faces – undefined figures – but I am sure that was their distance more than my interpretation – but I am not immune to overlooking humanity sometimes either.

What is interesting is that the distant wire towers are what is giving this piece so much depth – the broccoli field in the background could just as easily be the ocean – except for those high tension wires.

I keep imagining these people whistling while they work – I think the line they made was like an animation even though it was real – and that was why I painted it. I remember it was a drive by moment – but their line as though hustling for a break was what struck me.

See Also

Viewing Conditions and Imagination

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

simple but ambiguous

My Series 4 - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2005

My Series 4 – digital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2005

This piece looks better to me than the last time I wrote about it.

I have written a number of times about how color is relative to its neighbor – just as art is relevant in relation to its context. So it should not be a surprise that the conditions of the viewer are probably just as big of a factor as the art itself.

Today it is calm out – overcast and mellow. I am sitting at a computer screen playing my own image roulette – because it is time to write even though my mind is on music.

Trying to keep things simpler – not adding more than is necessary – is a mantra right now – so the simpleness and directness of the above digital painting has more appeal than before. I love the smoothness of color on the textured background.

And for whatever reason, I find more than enough ambiguity to satisfy my imagination today.

See Also

  • My Series 4 – art print options and availability for above digital painting
  • Dream with Mantra – not sure if this is the artist’s real name or a persona – but always worth taking a look at other people’s art
  • How to Change the World: Mantras Versus Missions – found this rather amusing – but also curious about the blog title – without reading much further – seems more about status quo than changing the world – but than again what isn’t?

Painting By Any Other Name

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

transcending the confines of canvas stereotypes

Sky Over Mountains - digital painting - Dan Beck 2007

Sky Over Mountainsdigital painting – Dan Beck 2007

I wrote a page for my website in which I go into detail about what digital painting is and how it differs and is in many ways the same as other types of painting.

Much of my focus was in pointing out the painterly similarities. Composition, color, and form as well as a clean canvas to start with are all the same. The above is a good example, because it too is much the same as traditional painting in its gradations and intensity of color – but it differs as well in the way lines and texture are created.

To me the computer connections and origins are rather apparent. I am not out to hide the nature of these works, but I am more concerned with what they are trying to communicate than the language of digital or even the language of art.

Feeling and beauty are meant to transcend technique and for that matter transcend the art – their success is not something which can luckily or easily be measured.

See Also

  • Digital Painting – discussion of how it is same and different – insight into how it is viewed at Outhouse Studios and part of why it is such an exciting new medium
  • What is Art? And why does it Matter? – open house questions – Yale University Art Gallery – thought these quotes rather enlightening as far as some across the board thinking

Freedom of Perception

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

understanding lives even in abstract

Cloud Cover - Digital Painting 2006 - Dan Beck

EnlargeCloud Cover – Digital Painting 2006- Dan Beck

This seemed like a natural piece to feature directly after the below black and white digital painting. It was undoubtedly created around the same dark and dreary time – which coincidentally or not is a lot like today.

There are certain things, I love about this piece. I love the billowed nature of the clouds. I love the ridges in the mountains – I love the way there is depth even in the midst of nonsensical clues. The line of trees seems to hover in air, yet the hills still look solid.

The digital painting works without confusion even though it probably should be confusing – but our eye reads a lot like we read language – able to switch around words and letters and still get the correct meaning.

This aspect of perception is quite compelling – for it is here that we find the freedom to say things in new ways and still be understood.

See Also

  • Cloud Cover – purchasing info and art print options for above digital painting
  • Perception – nicely laid out explanation of some of nuances of perception including: Perceptual Systems, Historical Background, Innate And Learned – Classical perceptual phenomena, Broad theoretical approaches, Current research/future developments

Black and White Constructs

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

shades of grey and relative color

Black & White Days

Black & White Daysenlarge – Digital Painting / Art Prints – 2006

I guess if I can talk about the typical color around here and show a painting with a flourish of color – which is both here and not seen, I can just as easily move to a piece that was intentionally done in black and white.

Color is relative – meaning the colors adjacent change the color one is looking at – both the power and trouble with colored matting. Black and white for most of us is more a construct of our understanding – black and white thinking – doesn’t really allow for all the shades of grey.

However, there is something really powerful in just black and white – the world is simplified and bold. I suppose its simplicity also helps us to appreciate how complex and rich a world with color really is.

Having said all this – it is rather obvious that above has many shades of grey.

See Also

More Color Than Typical

Friday, April 13th, 2007

recent experience affects creativity

Typical Mountain Color -digital painting - Dan Beck 2007

Typical Mountain Colordigital painting – Dan Beck 2007

Well yes – this really isn’t typical mountain color – but is more a case of saving a piece with a title before knowing exactly where it is going.

The mountains are beautiful here and they have this look and feeling which I try to communicate frequently. They change a lot, but there is always this wonderful patchwork of color.

When I started painting this piece – I was drinking out of a pseudo Van Gogh mug. I approached the painting with more abandon and colors than I might normally – it felt like the right thing to do.

The figures came in to play because 1) I wasn’t done painting, 2) I felt it would make the piece more interesting (colorful), and 3) because I caught two men resting on their hoes recently (even though these are shovels) – something I don’t normally see.

The third figure seemed necessary with the rest of the composition. His posture will be discussed at another time.

See Also

  • Field of Hoes – how could I not think of this piece – a number of people have said it looks like a band of musicians out in that field – plus original art prints are set up for purchase
  • Van Gogh – an interesting take on his use of color – with imbued meanings throughout – perhaps even more credit than the spontaneous style we can all see – but such a lovely image to make the discussion come together

New Spin on Art

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

color, texture – bumps, bends and growth

Hillside Spin 2 - digital painting - Dan Beck 2007

Hillside Spin 2digital painting – Dan Beck 2007

Thought I would revisit this piece. When I wrote about it last week, all I discussed was the new technique and how much fun or too much fun I had.

But in truth, I think the digital painting is quite pleasing. It is not that representative of my work in general, but so what. I like the playfulness. I like the bumps and bends my eye takes looking at it.

The color I was able to impart is also fun to look out – there is tremendous texture and this was intended to be a double print – so to get a better sense of what it would look like printed – I captured a section at the right size.

Art is always about process and growth

I used to always say “the more we live the more we die” – an odd paradox, but true. Today I think of youth and growth and that perhaps we are not dying as long as we are growing.

See Also

  • Houses on the Hillside – for some reason, the above painting keeps making me think of this one – a drive by moment on the 101 near San Jose – art prints are set up for purchase for this piece
  • Exhibit Helps the Creative Growth Process – not a current exhibit, but article shows how art affects both the artist and the viewer – helping us to see ourselves on many levels

Flowing, Colorful, and Tired

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

fatigue and unconscious as guides

tired - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2003

tired – digital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2003

It is not uncommon for me to write about knowing when to call a piece finished. I have also written quite a bit about different endings for the same piece – a digital advantage.

This piece popped up today – and appropriately – someone told me I looked tired yesterday – I was – but more just hadn’t been feeling all that well – nevertheless – not something one wants to hear – but I suspected it was true.

The above piece – I just couldn’t continue that night – practically falling asleep at the computer – but I guess my unconscious knew – it often does – that I was finished.

Though not one of my all time favorites, I love the flow of this piece – the color, the translucency, the buoyancy – it is playful and light – despite its tired ending.

See Also