Body Painting – Artist Carnival

6 08 2011

I haven’t posted for a while but I thought I would at least brag about a recent success.   About two weeks ago I attended an artist festival for body painting at Club 220 in Denver as a photographer.   Body painting is an interesting art form in that it pulls together at least three separate artist, the model, the body painter and the photographer.   The results though can be fascinating.   For example, the below image was my favorite piece, and in it I combined both my photography and a virtual photo I’ve had lying around my hard drive for a couple of years just waiting for a good use…

The event had a competition in which people on the internet voted for their favorite.    The following image won 3rd place…

And now for the brag, this final image won 1st Place!!!!!!!!!!!





New Gallery

30 11 2010

I’ve opened in a new gallery as of today.  It’s the Grace Gallery at the SW corner of Santa Fe and 9th in the middle of the Santa Fe Art district.   Be sure to stop by sometime and give it a gander.





New Piece – Wapiti and Flowers

8 06 2010

Just finished my latest piece, Wapiti and Flowers.  I hope you like it.  Again, my source material was in my back yard.





Changing Printers

5 04 2010

I have not verified this but it appears that GRI Studios is out of business.   A new printer set up by an old GRI printer, Ray Snyder is raysnyderfineart.com.   I’ve not tried them yet but will report once I do.





Time to Railroad

24 10 2009

“Engineering is the art of the practical and depends more on the total state of the art than it does on the individual engineer. When railroading time come you can railroad — but not before. Look at poor Professor Langley, breaking his heart on a flying machine that should have flown — he had put the necessary genius in it — but he was just a few years too early to enjoy the benefit of collateral art he needed and did not have. Or take the great Leonardo da Vinci, so far out of his time that his most brilliant concepts were utterly unbuildable.” – R.A. Heinlein

What does the above quote have to do with art? I would suggest that not only is engineering tied to the art of the practice, but so is new media art. Much of new media art and any digital art is totally dependent on the personal computer. Not only did the personal computer have to be invented and made financially accessible to the artist, but the software tools like Adobe Photoshop also needed to be invented and made accessible.

My oldest digital art, cica 1986

My oldest digital art, cica 1986

When I first started teaching digital art 20 years ago, what could be created was very limited. I was using Deluxe Paint which had very limited tools, and the resolution and colors I had available to me were just as limited. And then there was the problem of taking a digital image and putting it into physical form. There was no one at the time that specialized in this and certainly home printers could not do this. For my first art show that showed my digital work, I had to go to one photography company to have an interneg shot of my digital fine, and then go to a second company to print the interneg on photo paper. It was an awkward process and I could only do it because I had access to a large cities recourses (this was before the commercial Internet). The point is that I was trying to create art before the art of the practical was there.

Art from my original art show, circa 1990.

Art from my original art show, circa 1990.

Today with my current art I am still dependent on the state of the art and practical. There are three major technological components to my art. The first is creating my source material. My primary source is virtual worlds, but I also use digital photography. Technologies that have come into their own only in the last five years. I then depend on my software tools like Photoshop. The foundations for these tools have been around for perhaps 20 years (as can be seen by my early art) but only in the last few years have they become so powerful of tools. Finally, my art is dependent on the printing process, i.e. Giclée printing, and again that is a very new technology.

Art from my first art show, circa 1990

Art from my first art show, circa 1990

The point is that I could not create my art until it was time to railroad. But it is now time to railroad.

Marla





Giclée Printing and Printers

4 10 2009

Tea House #3 coming out of printer

Giclée (pronounced zhee-CLAY) printing is basically a fancy form of ink jet prints. But what a fantastic form, with Giclée one can create fantastic archival original prints or fantastic reproductions that pretty much blow away any printing methodology before. Given a high quality pigment ink and high quality canvas or paper, the result will be a museum quality piece.

Prices and quality vary a great deal. For a 24×36″ canvas framed on 3/4″ stretcher bars, you may be talking anywhere from $60 to over $250. Depending on where you are in the art pecking order, that is either cheap or a huge cut of your margins when you sell a piece.

So far, I have had experience with three different printers, and would like to pass on my experience. All of these printers support internet and mail order.

Winkflash (http://www.winkflash.com)

24x36x.75 framed with shipping – About $62 including shipping when a sale comes around, otherwise about $98.

This is a huge company that seems geared to turning the crank. There is no information on the quality of inks or canvas, but I have found them to be poor. In addition, I have had problems with any large prints including warped frames, poor stretching, flaking paint, and creases in the canvas. Seems to take about 3 weeks. Poor customer service (never responded to my problem emails, canceled a 6 piece order 3 weeks after it had been made because one image was of a nude). Although they are the cheapest when on sale, I do not recommend them.

Canvasprinters (http://canvasprinters.com)

24x36x.75 framed with shipping – About $110 including archival inks.

Seems to be a small operation. I managed to hit them for a print the very week they were moving, so there were some delays although I got my print in two weeks. The quality of the print seemed good, but the shipping seemed a little shoddy (the print was wrapped in an old pillow case). Personal customer support. I did send in another order today to see how they would do after their move. I tentatively recommend them.

GRI Studios (http://www.gristudios.com)

24x36x.75 framed with shipping – About $140 with archival inks and UV spray.

For me, they are a great printer, since they are only a 20 minute drive from my home. They sell themselves as craftsmen, and even sign their work. This might even translate into an ability to sell your art for a little more money. I had problems with my first printing from them (too dark) and they worked with me to resolve the issues creating a new print for me (no charge). I fully recommend them.

Marla





Telling Story

30 09 2009
Check #1

Check #1

I bring to my art 20+ years (eh eh ehhh, no guessing on my age) as a collaborative story teller.   Specifically, I’m a professional game designer, having been in the video game industry since the very early days.   It may take a minute here to correlate the two claims, but essentially games are collaborative story telling between the game designer and the game player.   The designer creates a world and how items in the world interact, he may also create narration, characters, backstory, mood and environment, all components of a story.    But they are not story in and of them self, what is also required in games is the game player who interacts in the game world, and thereby create a unique story.   One entirely different than ever created before by any other game player.

I’m sure this is somewhat obvious for some games like Halo or World of Warcraft, but I would suggest that it is also true of all games.   Consider the game Chess.   Each time the game players get together for a game you see created a unique story of tentative openings, mid game clashes and closing death.  This story came not only from the game players but the long dead designer(s) of Chess as well.  Both elements are needed in this form of collaborative story telling.

Life Tree #7

Life Tree #7

What does this have to do with visual art or at least my art?   Coming from a collaborative story telling background, I want my visual art to accomplish similar cooperative.  I am trying to give the audience components and pieces that when combined with the audiences imagination and unique character of each individual, a story then becomes alive.  How do I do this?   This is actually a question I am asking my own self.   One thing I note is that I try to bring a human face (or back) into my pieces.   Humans are so complex, and we relate to them so well, that just one human form generates infinite numbers of stories.    I have pieces with no human forms in them, and they somehow to not seem to posses the same richness.      Another aspects is to bring in components that don’t quite fit.   Take a look at my Life Tree #7.   Certainly the glowing blue tree brings builds unique questions of story, but also what is the blue mass next to the tree?   By hooking the audience into asking these questions, I hook them also into building their own unique story.

A collaboration between myself and my audience.

Marla