Art on Sale!

11 09 2011

I’ve up a number of my art pieces on sale at 50% off the gallery prices.   Prices are without shipping, but I’m also willing to split shipping prices 50%.  Please check them out at


Tea House #3


Learning from others

18 11 2010

The other night I attended an excellent presentation at the Evergreen Artist Association given by Peggy Morgan Stenmark where she demonstrated her ink reduction techniques.   Now, I’m a digital artist so one might ask, to what value was the demonstration?   I actually found it to be of great value as I’m going to show below.

Some of my art has a distinctly watercolor look.   Now I do some edging in my pieces, I normally keep that edging subtle.   For example, below is a piece I did a couple of weeks ago.

Now Peggy’s reduction techniques hugely stress black ink edgings.  I was afraid to go in that direction but after I saw her work and technique I decided to apply something similar to my digital work.    The result is below, and I think it is a better piece.

Qi V2

My point here is that one does not have to be working in the same media as a presenter  to learn from them.


Rejecting “Digital Art”

2 11 2009

As a digital artist, did I get you attention in saying I was rejecting my chosen media?  Not really, it’s more that I am questioning and perhaps rejecting the label “Digital Art”.   The reason for this is that it is not very descriptive and also not very communicative.

Think about this for a second, with today’s technology, almost all music is ‘digital’.   It’s recorded digitally, it’s mixed digitally, it’s modified digitally, and it’s stored digitally in my MP3 player.   So why do we not call music ‘digital art’?

Because with music, what is important is the musical artist and the artist creations, the digital aspects are just tools for managing that music.  Also, since almost all music involves digital tools (including live music), calling it digital would not tell us much.

Is this different than visual art?   Maybe.   Unlike music, there is multiple genre’s of visual art that use minimal to no digital technology.   So the label ‘digital’ does describe some subset of all visual art.

As I discussed in my last post, in the early days ‘digital art’ described only a very small percentage of all art, but times are changing.   Digital art is encompassing more and more of all visual art.   For example, a very large percentage of photography is now digital.

And what we call digital art is dividing itself into a multiple of artistic forms.  Consider this list from itechsquad…

* Artistic computer game modification

* Ascii Art

* Bio Art

* Computer art

* Digital poetry

* Tradigital art

* Electronic art

* Evolutionary art

* Generative art

* Hacktivism

* Information art

* Interactive art

* Internet art

* Net art

* Performance art

* Radio art

* Robotic art

* Software art

* Sound art

* Systems art

* Video art

* Virtual art

So, is it time we dumped the label ‘Digital Art’?


Letting Art Grow

17 10 2009

I think I have mentioned this in previous blogs, but I have been wrestling with how I manage my art work. One of the characteristics I’m seeing in my art is that I am never quite done with any piece of my art. Yes, I know that many say that one should say this piece is FINISHED and then move on to a new piece. But why? Why cannot art works continue to grow and change over time?

I think this will be or even must be a characteristic of my art. I cannot imagine stopping with any piece. There are too many ideas to explore.  For example, below are two different versions of the same piece.   Both I think are exceptional art in their own right, but each works with the same source material.

Cherry Blossom 01-F1

Version 1 of Cherry Blossom #1

Version 2 of Cherry Blossom #1

Version 2 of Cherry Blossom #1

As such, I am going to use the term ‘Version’ to designate a release of my art. Each version will by definition be unique and reflect different ideas and explorations of the work over time.

I probably could not do this if I was working with a fixed physical media like oils or watercolors, but since digital never degrades, and allows for multiple versions, it works well for my media.

This approach will also give me a solution in how my art can be made available. Some versions I can release as single unique physical works that I control through the Giclée printing processes for which there are no copies, and other versions I can release to digital printing houses for multiple releases.


Explaining New Media

2 10 2009
Tea House #3

Tea House #3

Last night was the reception for an art show I was in.   As would be expected, people, including other artist, wanted to know how I create my art.   And I ran into a solid wall in how to explain what I was doing.   For most of them, the word ‘digital’ was some type of magic that they did not understand.   None really understood the concept of 3D virtual worlds, 3D modeling, graphical effects or many of the other tools and methods I use.

For example, with Tea House #3, everyone thought I had used a live model for my protagonist in the art.   They couldn’t understand that my model was virtual.  I guess that’s a compliment, but the failure to communicate was frustrating.

Now I’m still getting a feel for the art scene,  but I’m wondering if there is a large generational divide here.  Larger than in the mainstream culture.   Is anyone else running into this?  What are your observations?


A Good Art Day

1 10 2009

Until yesterday, I hadn’t created a new piece of art work for about 3 weeks.   Now some of the reason was tied to other work in my life and some of the reason was tied to things like setting up this blog or preparing for the two art shows I was putting art work in; but a lot of it was I didn’t have a creative push.

Well that push came to me yesterday, and I created two new pieces.    The first was Check, which you can see in my last post and also on my artworks page.   The idea for the piece was actually a result of me thinking about the blog post I was writing, and wanting something visual to express the ideas of the post.   Later in the day, I saw a gorgeous Chinese painting that gave me the inspiration for my second art piece of the day, Oriental Nude.

So it was a good art day.


Oriental Nude

Oriental Nude

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.