Beyond Computer Art - Part II

  Pygoya, April 15, 2005


     Back in 1999 I wrote how my effort as a digital artist had change since my startup in the medium in 1984.  During that span of years PC hardware and software had come a long way in visualization of graphics that were more convincing as "fine art."  At the beginning it was attempting to smooth out blocky pixels and jagged lines. By 1999 systems became sophisticated enough to effortlessly produce comparable airbrush quality resolution imagery. I was free to spend more creative effort in creating than editing to refine canned software marks.

     Today I have the privilege to work with Bryce and Vue, powerful 3D programs.  It is quite easy to capture rich visual complexity in my compositions.  I can now "paint" as a professional digital artist.

I write again on what is "beyond computer art" - for me, at this juncture at 2005. 

     Last week I spent a day in the country at a good friend's art studio. No computer there.  So, along with him, I got lost in painting with brush and canvas for 5 hours.  The new works "made by hands" amaze Larry as well as myself.  They represent some sort of breakthrough for me as artist.  Surprisingly, the acrylic paintings appear like the digital art I now create!  As I work I remember constantly referring back to step-by-step decision making that I do as a digital artist working with software and mouse.  I was thinking in pixels, gradients, 3D primitives, filtering effects, etc.  Even with paint my creative process and mind set was - digital!

     So when the series of works successfully emulated my digital works there was this excitement that possibly, this might be a whole new style of painting.  The works are abstract, a mix of Jackson Pollock and Abstract Expression in the Modernist mode.  But added to the mix is the novelty of including areas that mirror 3-dimensional faceted planes and lines like those produced in 3D programs. I can't wait to create more works - without the computer.

    So what, for me, is "beyond computer art?"  Could I have gone 20 years applying myself to the digital medium, only to develop a painting style?  Might I stop using the computer and return to painting, even sculpture, media I worked in in the 70s, 80s?  Have I mentally become ingrained in graphic software's aesthetic sensitivity and its mathematical manifestation through user tools that execute commands?  Can I now continue to create this aesthetic WITHOUT the needs to use the computer?  Have I, as artist, BECOME the computer?  It's all beyond me.  The only elucidation of my future creative path is to keep on this path that I have chosen.