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Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Dominic’s Bucolic Dreams

In Art, Feature, Interview on March 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm

The Lowlands

The Lowlands

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Bucolic Dreams:

A Vue with Dominic Davidson

Interview by Max Eternity

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Port Antonio

Port Antonio

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Hello Dominic, welcome to AD Mag.

Hi, thanks for inviting me.

So, one day I was just surfing around the net, when I came across your art. I continued surfing, but over the next several days, I found myself revisiting your work. Could you tell us about how you got started? How long have you been painting?

I have been painting and drawing since I was about nine or ten years old, and have

always been a creative person. About five years ago I discovered Vue as a way of creating 3d environments, and I knew straight away it was the software for me. It’s relatively simple to use but with very powerful results. I do continue to paint and draw on paper, but digital art is where I get most enjoyment.

And about your style, the genre in which you work. What do you call it? It seems to draw on realism – Dutch realism? But you work with digital tools?

I am influenced by landscape paintings and photographs, mostly from the old masters such as Barend Cornelis KoekKoek, Claude Lorraine and Constable, amongst many others. I guess my work is a cross between Photography and fine art. Photoart I suppose you could call it. There is a fair amount of Photoshop painting, but I use Vue to do most of the hard work.

So what of this notion, that digital art isn’t really art? Obviously I don’t think this way, but there are others who do, many of them museum directors, and gallery owners. Any thoughts on this?

I get the impression that digital art is being taken more and more seriously. The quality of work out there is amazing, and just because it’s being done digitally, doesn’t mean it isn’t as valuable as traditional art. The graphics tablet has replaced the canvas, that’s all. We all start with a blank screen and ultimately have to create something from scratch. There isn’t a magic button that creates everything for you. The technology just gives you more options and features to work with.

I showed some of your work to my mother, who’s not the easiest to impress when it comes to art, and she said “I’d like to live there…I’d like to live in one of his scenes.” I feel the same way. There’s something about your work that is so inviting, beyond the typical bucolic attraction of landscape art, your work truly draws one in. You have such sensitivity to light, shading and texture. And really the composition, all of the elements within each piece seem perfectly placed? What’s your process?

I tend to build a scene in Vue, with buildings, trees etc, and adjust the lighting and atmosphere levels, which to me is the most important part of the scene. I then use Photoshop or Painter to iron out any areas that need fixing and also add extra detail to give the final image a more painterly feel. This is especially true when for example painting snow on the roof of a house, which Vue isn’t so good at, or adding extra light and shade to an area of the image. Vue is after all a composition tool rather than a painting program. I don’t want the final scene looking too digital.

How to you sell your work? As prints on paper…canvas?

I am currently putting together a gallery of my work, to sell as prints of all sizes.

Ambitions or goals for the future?

I have done some work for magazines and a couple of book covers, and hope to continue in this area; maybe even some environments for video games or movies.

Nice, good luck with that.  And tThanks for taking the time to chat with AD Mag.  I look forward to seeing your work evolve.

Many thanks.

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website

Village Sunset

Village Sunset

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David Winston’s Solitude

In Art, Feature, Interview on March 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Solitude

Solitude

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David Winston’s Solitude

Interview by Max Eternity

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bryce-trees-in-snow1

– Bryce Trees in Snow –

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Hi David, welcome to AD Mag.

Hello.

In my daily routine of searching for artist that might be featured in Art Digital Magazine, a few weeks back I came across your site. I looked around at the pictures that you had taken, but as much as I was impressed about the lovely execution of your photographic prowess, I was also impressed by the intuitive, understated elegance of your website design. It’s quite subtle, but rather inviting — intimate.

I spent a lot of time designing my website and then took it to a web designer to get it up and running. I love understatement and attempt to use it in a way that supports my images and leaves visitors feeling nourished on some level.

And about the pictures that you take, the moments that you capture, where did it all begin? How did you get started?

When I was eight I received a Kodak Brownie. At the same time our neighbors purchased a bunch of baby chicks. With Brownie in hand, I got down on the grass with the baby chicks right in front of me and instinctively filled the entire frame only to find out later that all of the chicks were out of focus. I had been too close, but had the sense to fill the frame. Twelve years later I was an art major at Penn State University. My favorite teacher taught photography and was very encouraging. I developed a strong love for photography as a result.

When I think of indigenous peoples, particularly American Indians and the Aboriginals of Australia, I immediately think of the intrinsic connection, the respect and love they have for nature. I see this in your work; as if your surrounds are speaking to you. Then you step aside to allow that to show up on film?

I often think my experience must parallel that of a gold miner who keeps trudging along looking for treasure, somehow finding enough to keep searching for more. The search for me has everything to do with relationship and juxtaposition. It’s about recognizing what’s before me and being open to the many ways that objects relate to each other. I love to bring disparate elements together in new ways, forming a sort of gestalt that the elements alone could never achieve on their own. As a result, I don’t go out to shoot a flower or tree, but a relationship that includes a flower or tree and I never know what that is going to look like. I particularly love to create juxtapositions that include people and/or manmade elements. This allows for the possibility of humor and irony to enter into my work, two elements I love to play with.

For me, photographing pure nature is very different. The quest for relationship and juxtaposition is still there, but I find it almost impossible to bring irony and humor to an exquisite tree or a pure landscape. What I do hope to express through trees and natural landscapes is their deep-rooted stillness.

website

Trees having spirits, being people…this is what I sense in the painterly, still-life captures of “your” trees. Is there something to that?

I am always after essence and this might be why some of my tree images appear to have spirit. But, I feel all subjects, manmade or not, have spirit. So I look for essence in everything I photograph. Of course, spirit is not something that’s easy to put my finger on, but rather something that is hinted at and felt. When I get it right, others feel it, too.

tranquility1

– Tranquility –

Tranquility, that’s the word I’ve been looking for; a sentient tranquility…your work possesses that. A surreal calm – quiet, but also there’s a certain inquisitiveness.

I feel my work is quiet, perhaps in part from many years of meditation. When I find subjects that move me I become very quiet and focused, almost reverent. In a strange sort of way, I want to make sure my subjects, stationary or not, don’t disappear before I photograph them.

At the same time, I like to introduce a rough edge whenever I can to juxtapose with the quiet and I think this is why many of my images have a sense of the surreal. Making the ordinary breakthrough its ordinariness so that it challenges common ways of seeing yet finds resonance in the subconscious is an ongoing exploration for me.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with AD Mag;  for sharing your work with our readers.

You’re welcome, and thank you for the invitation Max.

website

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Don Relyea: Art Technologist

In Art, Feature on March 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Blue Recursive #4 by Don Relyea

Blue Recursive #4 by Don Relyea

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“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands”

— Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)

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rotation8
Rotation 8 by Don Relyea

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Art Unfolding

Commentary by Don Relyea

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I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to say with my art. Sometimes it is simply a visual statement of how I feel at the time, sometimes it is a direct response to what I see going on in the world. As part of my practice I consider weaving cultural, social and political dimensions into my work. I am also very influenced by nature and mathematical forms.

I create my art with c++ in an open source project called openframeworks, subsequently my primary tool for art creation is a compiler.I have had a day job as an engineer/developer of applications and games since the early 90’s. For some time I resisted mixing my technical skills with my art practice in favor of traditional mediums. I hit a low point after the dot com crash where I had a lot of computers and no money to buy art supplies. At that time it clicked that I should just make art with what I had.

As an artist who is rooted in traditional mediums (printmaking and painting) my creation process, at least from a methodology standpoint, has remained unchanged even though I now use a compiler to create instead of a brush or printmaking tools. I decide what I am trying to say, chose a set of tools (algorithms, and C++ classes) to create and get busy.

Hairy Bush (detail)

Hairy Bush (detail)

With political works I already know what I am going to say so it is a matter of fine tuning imagery and algorithms though programming. With the hair particle drawing (demo) of Bush I chose and fine tuned a very specific algorithm for unwanted hair to make a very pointed political statement. I don’t always tie the algorithm to my statement as tightly as this but if I can incorporate it somehow I usually try.

Paulson (detail)

Paulson (detail)

“Stick ’em Up” is a direct gut reaction to the first 700 billion US bank/ Wall St. bailout by Paulson, Bush and Bernanke. I started work on this piece before it was confirmed into law. With “Stick ’em Up” (image and image detail) I wanted to make a large piece that would read well from a distance but present the viewer with an abstraction of the bigger picture up close. I employed a particle based process that re-draws an image using a generated matrix of concentric monochromatic rectangles, this code was developed as part of the Monochrome Generator. The concentric rectangles blend at a distance into tones.

Stick Em Up

Stick 'Em Up

The cowboy bodies in “Stick ’em Up” are from The Great Train Robbery (1903), directed and photographed by Edwin S. Porter from the close of the movie where the leader of the outlaw band, takes aim and fires point blank at the audience.

Rotation #5

Rotation #5

My 3d slit scan project employs twisted, fragmented, swirling 3d plastic shapes with a “wild style graffiti” feel to the composition. This body of work is about a general feeling I have had for the past year, a feeling that the world around me is flying apart. The technical process (interactive demo) behind it is more closely related to traditional slit scan photography methods very similar to Ansen Seale’s work, except that instead of sampling fragments of time from video or high speed photography I sample from a generated world of 3d primitives. I have been working on this project for a year off and on with each tweak of the algorithm taking the image to a more twisted and turbulent feel.

website

: Jay Montgomery : Illustrative Sage

In Art, Feature, Interview on March 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm
Roadway Workers by Jay Montgomery

Roadway Workers by Jay Montgomery

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An Interview with Jay Montgomery

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Wealth Management by Jay Montgomery

Wealth Management by Jay Montgomery

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The Illustrative Sage

by Max Eternity

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Max:  Hello Jay, Welcome to AD Mag.

Jay:  Thanks for the invite to an interview.

Max:  I’d like to start by asking a question that always comes to mind whenever I have the chance to talk with another artist.  That question being, how did you become and how long have you been, an artist?

Jay:  I have always been an artist from early childhood from drawing pictures in church while my Dad gave the sermon. As like most kids, they like drawing, but I immediately took an extended interest in art that lasted beyond the childhood fascination.

I wanted to be better at something when compared to my brother. He was always better at everything. I have always been interested in creating things. Having something to show for my time and working with my hands. My parents always encouraged me with my art, even though they were far from being visual artists and barely understanding my fascination. I took lots of private lesson classes and got an art scholarship from my high school to a college of my choice. It wasn’t a full scholarship but it certainly helped. So to answer the question I’ve been an artist ever since I was about 3 years old I guess, I’m currently 38.

Max:  When I look at your work, your illustrations, I first see a Normal Rockwell influence.  Is that an accurate attribution?

Jay:  Yes, Rockwell is one of my influences for sure. I loved his Saturday Evening Post covers. I remember the first time I saw his work. It was at my Aunt and Uncle’s house when I was about 5. They had a coffee table book of his work and I always looked forward to soaking in the details whenever we went over.

Max:  So, in addition to Rockwell, who are some of your influences?  Whose work do you admire?

Jay:  As my style has developed I have many other influences, like DaVinci, Michelangelo and contemporary illustrators like Brad Holland, Mark Hess, Anita Kunz, Teresa Fasolino, Matt Muhurin and many more. I really love the work of Mark Ryden, Cliff Nielson, Frank Frazetta , Craig Frazier, Greg Spalenka, Bill Mayer, Steven Lyons, Gregory Manchess, Barry Jackson, Sam Weber, James Jean and the list goes on.

Max:  I understand you’re a teacher, you teach at SCAD Atlanta?  Could you tell us how that came about?  How do you manage both careers; freelance and teaching?

Jay:  Teaching is a big part of my life and career. In 1998 I began my first part-time teaching position at my Alma Matter; Portfolio Center. From there I had the opportunity to teach part-time at the Atlanta College of Art. In 2005, ACA merged with SCAD.

Going through the re-application process with SCAD helped me to re-access my priorities and focus on a new career path centered on teaching illustration. I was grateful and enthusiastic to be accepted as a professor of illustration at SCAD in 2006. The new college set the tone for me to step it up in my teaching abilities. Helping the students achieve their goals and dreams helps me achieve mine. I feel I have been getting an education while being paid for it. I’m truly thankful for the continued SCAD experience. That’s one of the reasons why I chose SCAD as the college to pursue my MFA in Illustration starting this Spring.

Juggling freelance is quite a challenge when teaching 3 classes. I still manage to make more money doing freelance, but teaching is something steady and long-term hopefully. Teaching has made me a much better freelance illustrator in every aspect.  It’s tuff bearing the traffic to and fro SCAD and then coming home to my second job working nights and weekends. The most important thing is that I really love what I do. I don’t see it as work. I show my students what I’m working on and hopefully they get something out of it. My talented students work in a variety of traditional and digital mediums. I like teaching and working in both.

Max:  As you might already know, AD Mag was primarily established to provide a forum for the art and artist coming from digital and emerging fields.   Still, when I saw your work, I liked it so much that I decided it needed to be shown here.  In a way that’s fine, because the magazine also seeks to present a certain amount of content that might be derived from both traditional and digital avenues.  I talk about this some in my TADAE creative subset hypothesis.  So correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing that you use traditional methods and mediums?  Still, are any of your pieces created using digital tools; to what extent?

Jay:  Ever since my college days I have used the computer in the creation of my art. It’s almost unavoidable with printers, scanners, faxes, copiers, and of course Photoshop and Illustrator. Now with the internet and email even the most traditional artist has to deal with digital. In the field of illustration 99% of all clients expect work to be delivered digitally. So even if you do purest oil paintings you still have scan it or take a high resolution digital photo and color correct it, then email or upload the files via FTP. It all ends up digitized at some point.

As for the creation of my earlier work I first did an oil painting at about 50-80% done and then finished it in Photoshop and Illustrator and even Painter. Then as deadlines got tighter and budgets got smaller it was a natural progression to become 100% digital. I still wanted to retain the traditional feel of my work in some cases when it’s appropriate. I have always enjoyed working digitally with the freedom of multiple undo’s and many versions of the same work allowing for experimentation without losing a stage in the process.

With illustration it just makes sense to be digital with all the quick last minute revisions the Art Director asks for. I teach and use regularly Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter and Poser. I still enjoy and create art traditionally, especially in the last 2 years.

Max:  And for our younger audience or for someone new getting started into the field(s) of art, any special comments or advice?

Jay:  The computer can’t draw for you. It is essential to get a very good foundation in figure drawing and all the basic dry and wet mediums. Draw constantly to stay sharp. You probably hear this all the time but a website is your best promotional device. Spend a lot of time on it and make it easy to navigate, clean and simple and let the work shine. Get pricing help from the “Graphic Artists Guild Handbook Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.”  Don’t give your work away unless it for charity or other worthy cause. Always be service oriented in dealing with clients, never snobby or elitist. Never miss a deadline. Don’t worry about finding a style, just do the best you can on each project and a style will find you. Don’t get into art or illustration for the money. Do it because you can’t see yourself doing anything else for a career. Be true to yourself, but ask for guidance and be patient.

Max:  Wow, that is excellent advice; words that every artist needs to pay attention to.

Well Jay, the interview comes to a close now.  But, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to have this chat.  We are all the wiser for it.

Jay:  Thanks for the opportunity I wish AD Mag the best. Make sure to check out my blog.

Max:  We most certainly will!

Corporate America by Jay Montgomery

Corporate America by Jay Montgomery

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- Max Etenrity, 2009