Wednesday, December 8, 2010

more photoshopped pictures 2

tyres, own work
tyres (own work 2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

the thing is: imnsho an artist needs to receive inspiration from anywhere, everywhere. our encounter with our world (`reality') is a complex puzzle, ever changing, and somehow it is the artist's job to create meaningful interpretation, commentary, beauty, transcendentality even. pretty ambitious, really, so perhaps no wonder this often fails...

[don't let yourself be fooled by all the cheering and back-clapping and genius-proclaiming of galleries and museums...transcendental art is very rare, lastingly meaningful art is rare, good art is less rare but still already a relief...all imnsho of course. this doesn't mean that the work done by artists is mostly in vain, on the contrary. often very consistently hard work is necessary to reach occasional rare levels of art. it's just that we shouldn't try to put everything created by artists on a pedestal.]

House centipede (scutigera coleoptrata)
house centipede trapped in glass (duly released after the photoshoot, own work 2007-2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

[the above image comes from wikimedia commons, where i uploaded it on a free-use license...and lucky i did, because i seem to have deleted this particular edit of the original picture on my own computer...good to find this back-up! like i said i'm still pondering the avenue of uploading much more of my (art and photographic) works on wikimedia commons]

3 days of the condor, own work
3 days of the condor (own work 2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

of course photographing condors is not without hazard...but the picture below was a truly breathtaking affair. with danger to his own life, your photographer was able to capture this contract killer as he left his cab! ;-)

3 days of the condor, own work
contract killer (own work 2008-2010, click on the image for an enlargement)

Monday, December 6, 2010

record sleeves for ralfk (ralf kwaaknijd) - more digital stuff 2

my fellow artist and friend ralf kwaaknijd has a site on saatchi online (i didn't hear him complaining about their terms of use, but anyway these terms have been changed for the better now), and three weeks ago he was picked out by well-known conservator and lecturer ben street as one of 10 artists of the week on saatchi online. good for ralf, but then again he has quite an impressive bio, having had shows in many major museums etc.

like some other reclusive artists, ralf still shuns publicity. little it is known therefore that he is also a musician, mainly guitar/songwriter, and he even brings out records in very limited editions, just for friends. his musician's name is ralfk, and yes, they are just vinyl records, no cds. expensive, but his work sells well, giving him a little leeway to pursue his music in the way he prefers.

anyway, he asked me to design sleeves for these records, (the front side of) 3 of which i will put up here below, in this thread of posts showing what nowadays is within reach with photoshop for anyone, as compared to the pre-digital era. they are perhaps not my finest graphical designs, but i also like to promote ralf kwaaknijd a little bit,!

ralfk plays blues, own work
ralfk plays blues (own work 2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

ralfk plays blues, own work
ralfk plays aachen (own work 2009, click on the image for an enlargement)

ralfk plays blues, own work
ralfk plays the street (own work 2010, click on the image for an enlargement)

[oh, i should talk a little about these designs of course...the first being a portrait of ralf as a blues musician, which he refused initially to put on the sleeve, but i managed to convince him that these blues needed a portrait, more specifically a portrait like this one.

the second design came out of ralf's wish to relate to the cover of `abbey road' by the beatles, but he refused to be recognizably in the picture (but he is there...cameo-wise you might say).

the third design is the latest, reflecting on the fact that ralfk started out as a street musician. then as well as now, he often performs at night when most people are asleep...yet the picture is not taken at night, it is a simple black&white reversal...but it works well i believe.]

Sunday, December 5, 2010

more digital stuff, mostly mildly photoshopped pictures (don't expect elaborate digital art)

cinema, own work
cinema (own work 2008-2010, click on the image for an enlargement)

dark sky, polder, own work
dark sky, polder (own work 2010, click on the image for an enlargement)

liège 1985, own work
liège 1985 (own work 2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

still life with kiwi, own work
still life with kiwi (own work 2008-2010, click on the image for an enlargement)


anyway, one point is: without photoshop i would never have been able to make these pictures. the analog technology necessary for producing anything remotely resembling these pictures is way above my head. i'm not saying they are so great or anything, but photoshop at least has opened a world of photography for me, that was quite closed to me before.

and taking pictures, especially of landscape and nature, is also an inspiring way to prepare visually for painting and drawing.

[to be continued]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

digital self portrait 2 (& photoshop)

digital self portrait, own work
digital self portrait (own work 2008, click on the image for an enlargement)

[this is actually the picture i use for my profile on blogger...ok, i know it's a little over the top's got something which is really me, too]

digital self portrait as a photographer, own work
digital self portrait as a photographer (own work 2007, click on the image for a slight enlargement)

you can see the heavy use of photoshop...but it opens new possibilities. i devote quite some energy towards photography...and it used to be impossible to get things right. but now in the digital age, i really achieve pictures that i wish to achieve. which is to me a true gift from our technical and ict-community, thank you all! i think i will put up some more of these digital pictures, to show what i'm talking about.

intermezzo: digital self portrait 1

digital self portrait, own work
digital self portrait (own work 2010, click on the image for an enlargement).

i know, no relation to the previous post. but i wish to write more frequently, and there are still quite some subjects to tackle, like the possibilities of photoshop. an artist can use up multiple lives trying to master all the techniques available nowadays. nonetheless, visual training, or perhaps more specifically artistic training of one's own eyes remains the most vital key to mastering any technique in any worthwhile way, i believe.

something to come back to: the incredible amount of time and energy which i believe to be necessary in order to gain artistic contrast to the sometimes limited time necessary to create a work of art.

anyone can create a wonderful work of art, i believe. many many people can be an artist, i think. but the time and energy needed to achieve artistic mastery will only be sacrificed by comparatively few people. this doesn't mean that works of art created by others are less magnificent necessarily...just less magnificent statistically.

this does explain why i occasionally find myself in awe of some unknown work of art created by `a complete nobody' (not in my eyes, you understand). and i very much enjoy being awed in such fashion.

Friday, November 26, 2010

drawing, painting, drainting (st. frances 2)

portrait of st. frances drawing, drawing, own work
portrait of st. frances drawing, mixed media on paper (own work 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement).

compared to the later work in the 20 november post, this one is more direct, less refined, but that is not to say less expressive. [disclaimer: drawings' colours and fine details are hard to photograph]

this drawing can also still be considered a drainting...but has more obvious drawing elements than (oh let me just repeat it, that is easier:) the later work below:

st. frances drawing, drawing, own work
st. frances drawing, mixed media on paper (own work 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement).

now to start a thread on the shady distinction between painting and drawing, first a wikipedia entry:
Drawing is a form of visual expression and is one of the major forms within the visual arts. There are a number of subcategories of drawing, including cartooning. Certain drawing methods or approaches, such as "doodling" and other informal kinds of drawing such as drawing on a foggy mirror caused by the steam from a shower, or the surrealist method of "entoptic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots, may or may not be considered as part of "drawing" as a "fine art." Likewise tracing, drawing on a thin piece of paper, sometimes designed for that purpose (tracing paper), around the outline of preexisting shapes that show through this paper, is also not considered fine art, although it may be part of the draughtsman's preparation.

The word 'drawing' is used as both a verb and a noun:

* Drawing (verb) is the act of making marks on a surface so as to create an image, form or shape.
* The produced image is also called a drawing (noun). A quick, unrefined drawing may be defined as a sketch.

Drawing is generally concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little colour,[1] while modern coloured-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. In Western terminology, however, drawing is distinct from painting despite that similar media are often employed in both tasks. Dry media, normally associated with drawing, such as chalk, may be used in pastel paintings. Drawing may be done with a liquid medium, applied with brushes or pens. Similar supports likewise can serve both: painting generally involves the application of liquid paint onto prepared canvas or panels, but sometimes an underdrawing is drawn first on that same support. Drawing is often exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem solving and composition. Drawing is also regularly employed in preparation for a painting, further obfuscating their distinction.

this entry already shows that the disciplines of drawing and painting are not so easily separated.

saatchi online: terms of endearment 2!

wow, i'm actually flabbergasted! saatchi online has changed its terms of use, on 19 november. very recently, and almost directly after i complained about it on this blog. (i also explained in my mail to them why i preferred deleting my account to accepting their terms, but this was a short explanation, and their reaction was non-committal).

their old terms:
License to User Submissions. You may submit content (including Works) for use and display on the Website ("User Submissions"). You grant Saatchi a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, reformat, distribute, perform and display the User Submissions (in whole or part) and to incorporate the User Submissions in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed (i) on the Website, (ii) in materials created to promote the Website and its contents, and (iii) in connection with online and offline events conducted in connection with the Website.

their new terms:
You retain ownership of all Content you submit to Saatchi via the Website. However, you grant Saatchi a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, license to publicly display and publicly perform your Content to make it available on the Website and to reproduce and reformat such Content only for the purpose of making the Content available on the Website.

in my older post on saatchi online i commented how they should narrow the terms of use in order to make them acceptable, and this is precisely what they have done.

[now a question remains (only due to my ego, i know): did this blog influence saatchi online? i really doubt this, on the other hand i received an anonymous comment on my previous post alerting me to the fact that saatchi online had changed their terms...well i suppose it's nice to dream that one can have some influence in this world, even as an insignificant artist...;-) thank you saatchi online!]

all in all good news. i will therefore go back to having an acccount on saatchi online only, now i have to mail them again to see if they can reinstate my account, without me having to upload all the texts and images again...