Posts Tagged ‘digital painting’

Painting Evolution

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

digital development shows progress


Seeing a painting evolve – Artichoke Warriors – 2009 – digital painting – Dan Beck

In my experience, most creative processes require stopping, stepping away, and starting up again – sometimes a number of times.  The changing piece above shows the three major places I stopped in creating this work of art.

A friend of mine once remarked that as a child he thought that all music was just one song.  I don’t discount that view. Although it is easier to see one’s own art or music as a continuation of the same self expression – it is equally true that we are all part of the creative fabric of life.

Bringing it back down to this particular painting – all three versions are valid – but I didn’t feel like I was done until I felt like I had completed my task.  Songs are like that too – I can keep working on them until I am ready to move on.  They can be faster, slower, better, or worse each time I might play them, but they don’t tend to fundamentally change.

In the same way, viewing a painting can change each time we look as well.

Listen and View

  • audio fileFeet on the Grass – since I don’t have any new recordings since 2007 – I figured I would share the last song written during recording at that time and what seems to have been my personal favorite – odd because it seemed too easy to write and too much like other songs – yet once recorded quite a different matter.
  • Continuing the Original Painting – previous article and only other time I tackled artichokes – so to speak – interesting it also has multiple versions – I don’t generally save my stopping points.

Exposing Intent

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

feeling the space

Open Fieldsdigital art painting – Dan Beck 2009

This was painted approximately two months ago – the colors of everything have changed a bit since then – more brown in the fields – more blue in the sky – the change of seasons is subtle here in the Salinas Valley, but still noticeable.

This was a remarkably loose painting – my recollection was to capture that quick glance of field workers – in the distance – in multiple groups upon the backdrop of very open fields.  Looking at the painting today, I feel I captured these undulating and exposed fields.

The workers are more colors than people – probably hinting of the way the workers blend into the scene and are not seen or even thought of by most people. There is a tremendous amount of back bending work that goes into our being able to eat produce – and there is meant to be a kind of vulnerability from the open vastness of these picking fields.

Is the power in those floating electrical towers or in the people, clouds or hills?

See Also

  • Composition of the Bend – a somewhat similar piece from a different time and curiously mentions three paintings I just hung up in a rather impromptu exhibition at a local coffee shop
  • Digital Painting – never hurts to check out a little explanation and process

How Long Does It Take?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

The Timing of Art

No Painting Involved – definitively digital painting

The above piece of art used one color gradient and two painting tools – a square shape with adjustable rounded corners and a fill tool.  I stumbled upon the adjustability feature and started playing.

Frankly this is not a style of art which I would normally do. I like to use color and I prefer to create my own shapes – but it was fun and quick and begs the bigger question. How long does it take to create a painting?

I do find myself answering some times in terms of hours for a piece, but it is a faulty sense of time.

In truth, it takes a lifetime – or one’s lifetime up to the point of creating the piece – but I guess that is the nature of any skill – and even in the non-painting above where skill was not so needed – there are years of observation, aesthetic training, and appreciation which go into it.

Plus – time is different when one is creating – it can be faster or slower than other time – even timeless if you will.

If one is watching the clock when painting – one is doing it for other reasons.

In some ways – I think the real answer is “it takes no time at all” for it adds to one’s life not detracts.

See Also

  • How Our Sense of Time Flow is Created -fascinating group of articles on how we perceive time and even how to change it
  • When Art Can’t Fail – a previous article – with another painting done without any freehand – built on top of some strange symbolic language I unearthed opening a file in the wrong program – I guess.
  • Original Art – seems to me – a similar kind of unanswerable question and related to how long it takes – more than one’s lifetime – a whole history perhaps.

Solo Exhibition

Friday, June 26th, 2009

at the Gallery at the Blackstone Winery – Gonzales, CA

Sky Over Mountains – Dan Beck 2007 – Pigment Print on title wall of current exhibition

Opening Reception – tomorrow – Saturday June 27, 2009 2 – 4pm

MEDIUM : RARE Exhibition will remain up into the second week in August.

Below is an excerpt from my “Artist Statement”

My preference is for people to not focus as much on how I create art, as how the art appeals to them or affects them.  In most cases, the subject matter was chosen because my experience of a place has left me with such a strong impression.  I clue in on a few particular aspects of what I am seeing and try to articulate those aspects in a way that translates a feeling and invites further exploration.

The process of creating art using the tools of digital painting is important in a different way. It reveals much of what excites me about art. The computer allows me to overlap translucent gradients of color, and paint in a way I could never have conceived of using conventional painting methods.  I can manipulate and change my paintings in ways that continue to remain magical. The language of art is unchanged, but the tools I am using to create it require the time period we are living in.

For me, creating art needs to be fun and meditative – it also requires problem solving and experimentation to make something look the way it is supposed to look. I am always trying to push my abilities and develop new ways of working.  I firmly believe there are many ways to get to the right place – and similarly, many meanings are richer than just one.

See Also

  • Blackstone Winery – it is a beautiful gallery space with enough room for 30 plus paintings in the main gallery – not mentioned on their website – but they deserve credit for continuing to utilize the space with regularly changing high quality exhibits.

New Starts

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

color and spring significance

Spring Start -  width=
Spring Start – digital painting for art prints – Dan Beck 2009

In the Salinas Valley – if feels like spring starts in February – which is when this piece was created.  The crops are spottily coming in and the hills and mountains are beginning to show green.  As seen above, the dirt is still the most prevalent feature to the landscape, but the colors are becoming rich.  And though the change from winter to spring is much less clear than in most other parts of the country, it is nevertheless, a noticeable change and a welcome feeling.

If you are not from around here, you might not recognize the irrigation in the background – but this is the way it looks from a distance.  Many liberties taken with the emerging rows of young lettuce – but as I have written too many times – it is more about the feeling than the literalness.

I rely on no camera – just the lasting impression from what I spied.  Like the beginning of Spring – this is a first for me… a new article with a standard wordpress blog – instead of the customized version I had grown accustomed to – but had neglected. With the new standard blog – I have subscribers – but I don’t know what that means – perhaps one of you can explain it with a comment.  Are you informed when I post?

See Also

  • Original Art – discussion of what it means and how it pertains to digital painting and its prints

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

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

Repetition and Revisiting

Monday, April 21st, 2008

originality requires rethinking

Sun Blowin Bye - Dan Beck 2003

Sun Blowin Bye – Dan Beck 2003 – digital painting

As an artist and musician and the person that I am – I always want to do things differently – do it my way – lay down my own tracks, as it were, and be a pioneer.

What I know as a teacher both of others and even myself – repetition is a necessity for being able to improve on the execution of the same subject matter or even new subject matter.

My goal for a new piece of music or artwork is to create something to live inside – but even then, I must keep playing the new work of music – keep painting some of the same old things – keep exploring the same ole medium – keep revisiting the same old works …

I need to see how I view or hear them from where I am today. There are never enough hours to be new and be revisiting – so though I am in a time where I have plenty of new work – though not recorded – plenty of old work – not yet shared – I am revisiting a song I have offered and a digital painting that I have had on my website…

because it is the way I am feeling today – and it is worth it for me to revisit it.

Listen or View

  • audio fileCan’t Stand Still – original song – Dan Beck / 1danband – 2005 – music is a refuge and can take over – no matter what else is going on
  • Original Print Options – for above digital painting – Sun Blowin Bye
  • On RepetitionSupercharging Your Affirmations – perhaps even more necessary to repeat when what is learning requires some unlearning as well