Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sometimes art takes you to strange places

My fascination with fractal rendering continues.... Today I thought to myself these fractals are cool, but always look like an explosive moment in time. I thought what if I could carve the movement of the fractal tracing its way through space and time... What if it was carving its way thru water... no not water. It needs something more viscus. Now jelly might be cool. I got the idea from those CSI Shows when the show them shooting a bullet into a jelly like substance to capture it for analysis. EUREKA! GRAPE JELLO! Now that will be interesting indeed. Now how to set out to make a fractal look live it was stuck in Grape Jello. Here is what I got.

Anybody else out there harbouring weird fractal ideas?

Can't say I didn't warn you I had wandered into a weird corner of my brain today.


Art Lesson That I Always Need Reminding of

Hello Fellow Artists:
I was going thru some old images from my pre-digital days this week and found this great shot of a wet leaf. I was reminded once again that luck and providence play a part in my artistic life. As I have written before I go to great lengths to plan when to photograph a location. When I go to new spots I will carry carry my camera and document what I see for future shots. I always carry a notebook and write down information about what time of day and season would be best to get the image I want from what is before me. This planning helps me to get the most out of my limited shooting time and helps me to get the results I want. This picture reminded me to stop and look around... follow a different path if it appears.
This shot was taken shortly after college. I had planned a day of shooting in Letchworth State Park in upstate NY. There is a great waterfall (yes I was a sucker for waterfalls and lighthouses all the way back then.) and miles of trails as the Genesee River cuts its way through the valley. I like to shoot on days when it is cloudy or even raining lightly. it keeps the contrast low and the saturation of colors high. I arrived around 7am. While getting set up I noticed the freshly fallen wet leaves in the parking lot. I took out my macro lens and got this great shot of the droplets of water on the leaf with the texture repeated in the rain-slicked pavement. I have always liked this shot. The day would have been a total bust had I not gotten that shot. It rained so hard I could not keep my equipment from fogging up and It did not stop me from trying, but by three in the afternoon I gave up in disgust and went home to dry out. The next day I processed the film expecting nothing and found I had gotten my shot in the first five minutes of the day.
So my moral of this long-winded post is planning is good and helps you get into the frame of mind to create, but be open to a change of direction. Follow the inspiration where it takes you. It is a balancing act to be sure, but worth it in the end. This lesson has proven itself to me so many times yet I am almost surprised by it each time it strikes me.

Keep Makin' Art

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fractal - Swirling Mist of Time

Fractals and Renders and Bryce... OH MY

Back in 1998 I was working in the digital imaging department of a large commercial photolab (one of my favorite jobs ever!) We did a lot of display work for trade shows. While I was testing some new applications to use for a creative project I discovered and got hook on Bryce ( a 3d terrain program). Hooked is the only word I can think of I spent hours at night rendering fantastic worlds and scenes. Bryce was used to create the world in the original Myst game. When I moved into the systems engineer side of my career I sort of ran out of time for Bryce. I was very busy working on certifications and keeping networks and servers from crashing. Gradually I came back around to art. I started painting and picked up my camera again (thank god. I need the balance in life. all work and no play makes me grumpy!) As you have seen over the past few months my digital addiction is rearing its head again. my photos and paintings are competing for blog posts with Fractal images I am creating... The other day I wondered whatever happened to Bryce? It had been purchased by the makers of Word Perfect and I never heard from it again. Well i did a little search and found version 5.5 is free on the Internet. There is a version 6 you can purchase, but I just want to play for now and downloaded the 5.5 version. The interface was always a bit involved and maybe even a bit clumsy. I found that to be part of its charm. I started playing and came up with this image I am calling Mystery in the Ice.

So there are even more digital distractions for me to contend with! What are your thoughts on digital art versus traditional techniques. You are still being creative, using your design skills and sending a message. So for me while the tools are different I fully embrace these newer digital art forms as completely valid.

As an interesting aside. Back in '98 I had a start of the art imaging workstation and Bryce images like this would render for hours over night. Now on my laptop the rendering takes only minutes. Isn't technology amazing!

Keep Makin' Art

PS - I am turning on the heater in the studio now. I feel the need to paint.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Phoenix Rising - Fractal

Hello Fellow Artists-

Here is a fractal I call Phoenix Rising. Tomorrow i will work on the pear still life I have been talking about.

Keep Makin' Art

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fractal - Orange Explosion

Here is a fractal for you to enjoy while I scratch my head and figure out how to paint those pears I photographed in watercolor.

Keep Makin' Art!