Posts Tagged ‘Salinas Valley’

Painting For Me

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

beyond seeing

See Where It Goes - painting & digital image - Dan Beck 2010

See Where It Goesoriginal digital art -Dan Beck 2010

A recent cloud formation was so inspiring to look at – I thought it would be fun to kind of bask in the memory – exploring my own representation of clouds without referring directly.

After all, no rendition can ever capture the experience – no memory can capture an experience …

but art can be experienced again and again – and in the process of making it – one can get lost in a world that is its own.

I am on a campaign of trying to be true to myself – not that this is a big departure.  I have painted the Salinas Valley landscape for a number of years now – partly to pay homage to the beauty here – partly as my own personal challenge to try to communicate the feeling it gives me – and partly because representational art has generally gotten better response than my abstract – but not always.

And frankly why do I care about response – because I am human and like to believe I am doing more than talking to myself.

Today, however, and in the art above – I know I am talking to myself – if anyone else chooses to listen – fantastic.

But today it doesn’t matter.

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

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?

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

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

Returning Sun

Friday, June 27th, 2008

same and new reaction

Salinas Valley 4 - digital painting - Dan Beck 2003

Salinas Valley 4digital painting – image for a audio filesong – “Reaction to the Sun”

I believe I wrote this song in the Spring of 2006 – we had weeks and weeks of overcast and winter rain – and the sun came out for a glorious few days – maybe even a week – and everyone seemed so much happier – whether inside or out –

I know I celebrated with an unplanned and impromptu sunburn – and heat rash – which I thought – a “reaction to the sun” and proceeded to write the song.

In truth, I think it is my own version of George Harrison’s / Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” – because it is the same concept were it not for the new play on words and a completely different melody and chord structure – but this undoubtedlly is borrowed as well –

because we know there is nothing completely new under the sun.

Listen or View

  • audio fileReaction to the Sun – recorded Spring 2007 – from  Red Eye Recordings – music, lyrics, performance, recording – Dan Beck | 1danband – Alone & Contageous
  • Here Comes the Sun – video of George Harrison performance of (just slightly more famous) song

Digital Art Pick

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

previous view of strawberry harvesting captures today

Harvest Depth - digital painting / art prints - Dan Beck 2006

Harvest Depthdigital painting / art prints – Dan Beck 2006

It is most difficult to keep writing while in the throws of moving – even more difficult to keep painting. It is fogged in today and the day is kind of monotone. There are plenty of workers out this morning picking berries in a day that I assume was very similar to the scene above – painted last year.

When I created this digital painting – it was a combination of commentary on the orange flags – indicating spraying had been done – and the likeness of the workers and the fields and how in sync it all seemed – beautiful and a little painful – all at the same time.

The work is peaceful, a tad monotonous, and a little uncomfortable. This digital art is successful I think at capturing the feeling of the Salinas valley – and the labor which makes our food supply available.

See Also

Original Distinctions

Friday, June 8th, 2007

archetypal, fresh, world of its own – intentional multiple prints

Salinas Valley 1

Salinas Valley 1digital painting – original prints – Dan Beck 2003

Much of my current writing focus is about the distinctions of original art. Though this is not all that recent of a piece, I felt and still feel that I hit an original note or interpretation when I created this digital painting.

I had never treated the row crops in such a fashion and had never treated the undulating crisscrossing fields in such a fashion. It is geometric, openly computeristic, but playful, childlike and strong.

It is its own world – but it also conjures up the Salinas Valley. There is nowhere else I have been which has this feeling. It is special because it does that – but perhaps too fantastical to those who have not been here.

Nevertheless, it was original at the time – remains original as the archetype – and each of its art prints is original.

For a long time, it was also the first image one would see on the Outhouse Studios website and therefore remains in the above header banner.

See Also

Impression, Color, and Valley

Monday, February 26th, 2007

drive by landscape – fields, sky, and texture

Valley Colors - digital painting - Dan Beck 2007

Valley Colorsdigital painting – Dan Beck 2007

There is a spot which this is loosely based on – I drive by it fairly regularly and it has a good view of the valley extending to the Santa Lucia Mountains and Mount Toro.

Like a lot of my work, it is more of a drive by impression – I saw color, and a few barns or houses, a few trees – but mostly the colors of sky and fields.

This is not a piece which knocked me over when I was finished – I wasn’t really sure about it – but there are many things I like: the short field growth in the front, the way the cloud twists like a ribbon, and the beautiful texture in the green field.

My eyes and mind move around the landscape well – so I guess I did ok.

Like all but a couple of my pieces – I started with a blank page and painted and created the digital painting by the strokes of a mouse.

See Also

  • Big Valley 1 – another digital painting taken from an impression of pretty much the same spot
  • From the ground up – an image of the Salinas Valley brought me to this site – good article about small organic growing in the area and the group ALBA

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.

See Also