My official artist’s statement:
I originally intended to use the computer as a convenient sketch pad and an easy way to try out variations prior to transferring the design to paper or fabric. I soon realized that the computer was a valid art medium in itself.
I have always been very experimental in my approach to my work. The computer, with its ability to undo and redo, enables me to try out countless approaches before I commit to anything permanent. Working on a computer gives me the ability to be more spontaneous than I was able to be with traditional media. It allows me to take chances, to try out different ideas, in short – to be more creative.
My prints are original digital images which can best be described as Digital Photo Painting or Digital Collage. In Digital Photo Painting, traditional photography and painting techniques are combined using image editing and digital painting software to add further expression to the image. In Digital Collage I combine two or more images from varying sources (photographs, or scans of drawings, paintings, fabric, found objects etc.) into one image. I use layering techniques in image editing and painting software.
These images are not scans of original work done in another medium, (such as: watercolors, oils, acrylics, etc.). The American Artist Magazine, April 1998 says: “An image that originates in the computer, but is printed in an edition of more than one print, becomes a multiple original print in the same family as etchings and serigraphs.”
It is pretty hard to make a living at fine art – so I ended up as a graphic designer for about 15 years. I owned the first Mac in the Republic of Panama in the mid 80’s – at the time it came on the scene I was at a drafting table with rulers, knives, waxers, rub on type – and that little 512k Mac changed my world.
I went to art school and had a very classic education but having said that I don’t think an art school background is necessarily a prerequisite for digital artists. Just look at the talent on the Creative Matrix list. We have members who had/have jobs not in the slightest way related to the art world. We have gardeners, electrical engineers, musicians and goodness knows what else on the list and they all produce some amazing work.
I believe that some (but maybe not all) people have a genuine artistic/creative side and don’t even know it because life (and the need to make a living) lead them in another direction.
The computer has enabled more people to try their hand at art and design – people who would never have dreamed of going into an art store and buying art supplies and taking them home and trying to do something with them. But they will buy a computer application and try their hand at it. They’ve already got the computer – so hey – why not – might be fun! I got into digital art with my discovery of Fo2Pix’s Buzz (which is no longer available.)
The undo keys are the greatest thing to happen to creativity. Remember the days when you had to hand write a document – or type it – and after it was finished you read through it and knew you could make it better by the rearrangement of a paragraph or two, the substitution of some words or the addition or subtraction of a few sentences – but you left it as is because you didn’t want to have to do it all over again? The word processor made us all better writers because it is so easy to change things on the fly.
I believe the same analogy applies to digital art as compared to traditional media. With the computer you have the ability to try out any idea, no matter how wild, knowing that if that idea stinks it can be undone in a keystroke! This undo ability takes away the preciousness of the work. You are not constantly faced with making the decision to possibly ruin the piece if the idea doesn’t work as hoped.
I was an etcher and believe me, after I have worked for weeks on etching an image into metal plates with acids (that turned my fingernails yellow), and then carefully rubbing sticky ink into the etched lines, and then laboriously wiping off the excess ink (with a special fabric), while soaking large sheets of very expensive European etching paper in water, and then blotting them until they are just the right dampness, and then finally running the whole thing through a large and very expensive press at just the right pressure – I am NOT too thrilled about making any major changes – too much time, energy and money have been invested in the image – in short it has become precious.
The other day someone on the Yahoo Digital Fine Arts list mentioned recently coming across some of his old traditional media images and how he handled them differently from his digital images because they were one of a kind, never to be repeated and the digital image, if damaged, could be reprinted at the touch of button. That is my point – overcoming the preciousness of it all – being able to move on and try something new – not getting so bogged down in the process.
You can view my galleries on line at:
If you would like to purchase any of my images they are available for sale as: Canvas Prints, Framed Prints, Cards, Mounted Prints and Laminated Prints on Red Bubble:
I only have a small selection on Red Bubble – but anything you see in my pbase galleries I can upload for purchase – just let me know.
Except for the Panama galleries much of my work is from photos supplied by the moderators for the weekly challenges on Creative Matrix and Digital Nuts. I like the challenge of working with images I probably would not have chosen myself. It gives me an opportunity to try out different techniques and to get some feedback from the forum members.