I grew up studying and using traditional methods and materials in painting, printmaking, and drawing, learning the characteristics and limitations of each. Digital art, using programs such as GIMP and Photoshop, now allows me to use its blending options and the fact that digital paint is never actually “wet” nor will a digital drawing smudge, to combine different methods and schools of painting into a blend that otherwise would not be possible.
Old master’s techniques can be combined with alla prima painting, one layer can be abstract expressionist but blended with another which is surrealistic. Color combinations can be seen beforehand, thus allowing for determinations about how effects shape and interacts with it.
Having an innate sense of space and design, I just divide the space with curvilinear shapes, then imagine what they could be, how they could move around, combine, or contrast, and become something that had not existed before. One color next to another can change one or both of the colors. When I was using acrylics or oils, I hated red because its was so translucent. But that “flaw” disappears in digital work.
All pieces here were created over several days in April 2023. The image above, The Absurdity of It All 5, asks If we can question the absurdity of things, why cannot we question the absurdity of absurdity? Just as in the picture, absurdity has a design, color, balance, composition, a reality.
Digital art can be made two to three times original size without distortion if high enough dpi.
People put keepsakes and mementos in boxes, some fancy, some not. But what would a place where the actual substance of memories be stored look like? It seems it would have to have a multitude of drawers and all would have to intersect the way that memories do in our lives. It also seems to require a neutral color for the container, while the contents could be whatever color chosen, since we do color our memories, but in ways and places that others do not see.
In Terror in Four Acts, the faces stand out but blend into the background, as part of all that is happening. The faces are repeated like an echo. Using the digital equivalent of glazes, I tried to make visual the depth and layers of devastation one can feel from a simple affront or to extreme loss. The blending options in GIMP or Photoshop can be used as if they were glazes or tints.
Children play hide and seek seriously, trying very hard not to be found when they are hidden, trying hard to find others who are hidden. It seems these would be good survival skills for hunter and gatherer societies, but perhaps not so much in modern, hierarchical societies where power and money are rocks and trees one cannot see around from either side. Things are hidden in plain sight, but one is not allowed to see them, to find them; one is left astounded, disembodied and floating in air, gray and off-white in the deep darkness.
As humans, we seem to be the only species who believe that baring our teeth to others should be seen as a welcoming sign. Is altruism possible? Does every act of kindness have a darkness in it? Or are we Rousseau’s noble savages that have been corrupted? How many acts of kindness are meant to obligate the receiver, or to show the elevated status of the giver? The conflict and contrasting figures in Passive Aggressive Kindness are meant to indicate our own moral conflicts and contradictory impulses. The repetition is meant to emphasize that we do, in fact, repeat ourselves.
Although many might associate a “wicked wiggle” with something sexual, I am trying to show that everything in life has its own wiggle. This movement should draw our attention and make us look closer to see that most people, events, and nature are dynamic, not static.
I have always liked how black and white drawings are inherently dramatic. As the title indicates, it is one of those days and one of those moods where happiness and confusion and frustration and despair and hope all compete for dominance and end up blending into that conundrum we call “life.”
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