the nature of @ ACSP

Animals have been in my art and imagination for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I spent my time exploring...

...woods and ponds, grassy areas and rivers, looking for anything that moved, such as frogs, turtles, snakes, salamanders, insects, baby birds, etc. My interest in and love for animals is something that has continued in my art.

In November of 2014, I was awarded a grant from PLRAC to purchase equipment and software to do digital painting, to further my exploration of the animal in my work and to generate ideas for my traditional work. I purchased a Wacom Cintiq, which acts as a second monitor, plugging directly into a computer and works like a giant iPad that can be be “drawn” or “painted” on directly, using a highly sensitive stylus. The software that I’ve used primarily are Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. I’d also experimented with some other programs such as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Escape Motion Rebelle.

The process of working digitally proved to be more challenging at first than I anticipated. After getting my digital drawing monitor/tablet, I began right away by trying some digital painting, and was completely underwhelmed with the results... it was similar, yet very dis-similar to traditional media. Corel Painter is also a very complex program which takes a good deal of time to learn. Finding myself frustrated with the results, I eventually decided to begin with some digital drawing, which ended up being a very good way to get used to this new way of working. Once I started drawing, in fact, things began to feel  natural enough that at times I found I would forget that I was working digitally. I also became interested in trying to determine what the essence or character is that makes a digital painting different from a traditional painting. Many of the digital paintings explore the digital process and media trying to create images that are close in character to my traditional paintings, yet at the same time doing things that would be difficult or impossible with traditional media.

Finally, in the process of preparing for this this show, I wanted to work on some additional ideas I’d had over time, namely the sculptural pieces and installations. These works explore ideas that can’t be done in traditional or digital painting as they require space, time or dimension to convey. Altogether, these works seek explore and deepen an appreciation and understanding of animals and our relationship with them.

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