Archive for the ‘Digital Art’ Category

Accepting Inspiration

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

embracing the work I can


Toro Inspired – digital art painting – Dan Beck 2009

The artwork is inspired by Mount Toro – a part of the Santa Lucia Mountains – still Salinas.  There is a particular area I am thinking of in doing this painting, but it is not so particularly literal – what else is new.

Actually – where I find myself today is working on a major website redo – but being more overwhelmed by the prospect than being able to get on with the doing. There is no substitute for just doing – but it is a daunting task to simplify that which has gotten too big to manage.

Since I am painting instead of website building – and blogging instead – the piece undoubtedly reflects this state. If I could take the same approach as I do with art – I will get it done – but I am less inspired by website design than by the beauty that surrounds me – so I do art and hope that the next days will find it easier to get more done in the process.

On the bright side, I have been wanting to paint this area for quite some time – with or without cows – wasn’t sure – but today it felt like it needed a few cows – a digital challenge for a mouse freehander like myself.

See Also

  • Taking on the View – Article and only other painting with cows – this one taking from the foothills of the othe mountain chain that creates the Salinas Valley
  • Original Art – how can something reproducible be considered original – what does it even mean?

Art Size Versatility

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

different digital challenges

Hillside Fun - Dan Beck 2008

Hillside Fun – digital art – Dan Beck 2008

One of the things I have improved on over the years is paying attention to the composition – so that a piece works both large and small.  With digital art – there is not necessarily an optimum size and certainly not a one and only size.

As I have taken on this medium, I keep trying to do work which utilizes the attributes which are unique to creating art on the computer. Stepping back is done by minimizing the size – and getting up close is done by magnifying.

Once a work is printed, I find they are generally stronger as they get large enough to see the detail found when creating the piece.  Texture and overlap of color come into their own in a way that is really only hinted at by a monitor screen – but yet again – seeing on a monitor may actually be closer than with a photo of a more traditional form of art.

See Also

Original Art – discussion of what it means particulary in the context of digital painting and prints on demand

Changing Landscape of Traditional Art – an internet search yielded an interesting thought but not sure if the internet has changed our access to this degree

Gray Sky and Fields

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Planting the Details

Gray Fields - Dan Beck 2008

Gray Fields – Dan Beck 2008

On an overcast day in Salinas –  a few weeks ago – was a lot of planting going on – through plastic covered rows of dirt – ready to become next year’s strawberries.  Though I understood what I was seeing – this digital painting is more stylized than detailed.

The fields are gray – the day is gray – and yet it felt very peaceful.

It fits with the distance I was viewing and the pace I was driving – much faster than the pace of life today.

The plasticized fields are both ugly and beautiful all at the same time – the decision to paint it I think rests upon these clearly coexisting opposites.

See Also

Time Limits

Friday, August 1st, 2008


Abstract 2 - digital art - painting with a time limit

Abstract 2digital art painting with time limit – Dan Beck 2008

Recently I wrote a song about there not being enough hours in the day, the night, or a lifetime to do it all – and certainly not enough hours to do it all right.

So basically we have time limits on everything we do – whether we realize it or not.

So I guess my conclusion is to be a little less of a perfectionist and not take the adage about doing things right the first time to heart – because there is no such thing – no artwork is every done – no fix is permanent …

All of our efforts are more like “treatments” if you will – we make an adjustment and it improves things and then needs another adjustment.

I’ve been trying to limit the time for various tasks in my life – even works of art – when the rule strikes my fancy –

For after all – even the rules are like a treatment – needing readjustments as we go along.

See Also

  • Digital Painting – insight into the art form and process of creating by Dan Beck at Outhouse Studios
  • Managing Perfectionism – there is good insight here – my focus is a bit different because the process for me has always been about gaining a certain level of expertise – enough vocabulary or technique to express myself or determine it isn’t my thing – but focus can be very focused to very broad- we can be extremely specialized experts to dabblers in everything

Innovative or Authentic

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

which curve?

2 Much 2 Control - digital art (painting) - Dan Beck 2008

digital art2 Much 2 Control – Dan Beck 2008

When I wrote about this digital painting before – I focused on the process and the secondary success not conceived of with the original goal in mind.  There are always secondary gains or successes which were not intended – just as in life.

I like to think that my work is innovative art – that I am always pushing the limits of the medium or my own limits – the limits of my audience which of course includes myself.  If I am doing my job correctly, I will not necessarily appreciate some of the things I do right away… a strange paradox really.

All art comes from somewhere else – all music, all dance, all theatre etc. is not created in a vacuum, but is built upon what is already found elsewhere in culture.  A term I have come to appreciate more than even originality or innovation is authenticity – whether the art is authentic or genuine – coming from the place of being done because it has to be – where appreciation and regard are not a thoughtful consideration.

Innovative – I think, is more about being ahead of the curve

See Also

  • Shape of Something New – a previous departure from the art I was doing at the time – but a road I didn’t travel down – and one which seemed too familiar and previously traveled by others – but a piece I like nonetheless
  • Ahead of the Curve – this article takes the curve for granted – career with money
  • Ahead of the Curve – clips from university musicians – some authentic – some cloning … obviously originality and innovation are difficult to measure – work that is too different has always been poorly received

Digital Art – digital ads

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

coloring our senses

Times Square 2 - digital art - Dan Beck 2008

Times Square 2digital art – Dan Beck 2008

I felt good about my first take on Times Square – but wanted to try to tackle the feeling again – a little more focus on the TV nature of the advertisements – still the bright color and overwhelming show – but hoping for the shape of the over the top media bombardment that is part of the fabric of life in the big city.

My life is normally situated in a more bucolic west coast – rolling hills – and farmland setting – so this is a departure from what feeds my art generally.  But what an incredible scene – the East Coast in general has such a great mix of old and new – quaint and over the top sensory bombardment – it feels like there are artistic touches everywhere.

In the Salinas Valley I am fed by nature and quick scenes which grab my attention – in the East – I was bombarded by lights – by life – by urban frenzy – and this for someone who lived back east (love that expression) for a major portion of my life.

See Also

Art Times Square ‘d

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Times Square Can You?

Times Square Canyon - digital art - Dan Beck 2008

Times Square Canyondigital art – Dan Beck 2008

Visiting the East Coast this week …

I had been asked a couple of years ago to do a digital painting of Times Square – I thought about it – even googled some images but knew I hadn’t been there in so many years I couldn’t do it justice.

In general I like to work from my own impression and feeling of a place and then use the language and vocabulary of the digital medium which is at my disposal.

In this case, it is using the mouse pad and finger painting in an abstract manner to capture the feeling and enormity of the show of technology ads and bright lights of the city at night. In particular – looking up Broadway in what feels like a canyon of buildings and lights – jagged, beautiful, and bustling with moving lights and people.

It is a couple of days (or a couple of years) later – but this is also sometimes my custom…

See Also


Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

play the way

Abstract 1 - digital art - improvisation - Dan Beck

Abstract 1digital art – improvisation – Dan Beck 2008

Creating an abstract painting for me is like improvising music without a chord progression. I start without a plan – just moving and creating shapes – overlapping , building, not so much thinking as observing.

The digital painting is about the process – the movements, the colors, the layering. Whatever form there is happened out of this dance of color – out of the play of comfortable swirls and movements – watching, observing – adding with balance – but not so much that is feels even and symmetrical … these are my rules – my way of doing – one layer of color at a time – occasionally coming back to an original color, but generally adding only new variations.

The black lines were not thought through either – but there seems to be a bit of a tree shape – a common theme right now – not surprising a comfortable motion would yield such a reference.

This is probably the truest dan art – if there is such a thing. All my representational, impressionist, landscape art, or figure art etc. draw from the vocabulary and techniques developed from this abstract play, and if not, it was because I permitted the same degree of looseness in the other work.

See Also

  • Abstract Art Gallery – some of the abstract explorations at Outhouse Studios
  • Improvisation – Milestones of the Millenium – discussion of how classical composers improvised – though not discussing how communication itself is about improvisation – music and art connect and this connects to something I was thinking about earlier today

More or Less Equal

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

music with digital art accompaniment or digital art with musical accompaniment

link to video posted on You tube
music and digital art project

(Tip: select “watch in high quality” link)

Slowly I have been releasing tracks from a cd of music I created last Spring –
Previous articles have included tracks 1, 2, 3 and 4 and one out of order track to be written about again I suspect.This particular track (#5) seemed very conducive to having a visual accompaniment from my art. I have wanted to take on a music and art slide-show movie project for a few years but never gave myself the time or perhaps the permission to try.

I don’t quite understand timing in life – one can contemplate doing something for years and then one day you do and wonder why you waited. Although having said that – I don’t wonder – my life has other priorities and I always have more projects and ideas than I have time to carry out.

Listen or View – thoughts on life – incredibly detailed paintings and partial inspiration for the song

Nothing Is Equalaudio file – music track by itself – neither music quality or video quality is particularly good with youtube – will post again after I can figure out the best alternative

More Time – More Tree

Friday, May 9th, 2008

change of scene – changing seasons

More Remote Tree - digital painting for original prints - Dan Beck 2008

More Remote Treedigital painting for original prints – Dan Beck 2008

When I have painted this tree in the past – it has always been by memory and impression – this is no exception – the seasons have been changing – grasses growing and leaf base is quite a bit stronger.

To me the work has an impressionistic feeling with a rather clear digital component – even if the medium is intended to take a back seat to the content of the painting.

Observing the changing tree over time makes for an interesting group of work – or at least an interesting puzzle and interesting in that each one so far has been created without referencing the previous versions until after completion.

Limits are good – my rules are to not intervene with photos and not try to block my own understanding – hoping to impart the feeling which has prompted the painting in the first place.

See Also

  • Original Prints – discussion of digital painting and original nature of prints at Outhouse Studios
  • An Artist Needs Limits – discussion of the importance of limits for the creative process