a short while ago..
A couple of years back, I was at a point in my art where I knew I had to make some major decisions if I was to evolve and grow as a serious artist. Decisions are never easy to make - especially when they involve money or a major re-evaluation of oneself.
What prompted me was the fact that I wasn't extending beyond the computer screen [which is not 'wrong' in itself]. I realized that I needed to move to a more traditional/tangible medium that would allow me to concentrate more on the product as fine art and less on the digital aspect of it.
I had tried to work with various service bureaus, but I found them both expensive and frustrating - by the time I had my work color balanced for their system, I didn't have the budget to do the extensive testing that I felt was needed. As a result I never really liked what I got.
I realized that the only solution was to take the plunge and buy a medium format printer - one with the capability of producing a reasonable sized print on as wide a range of media as possible. The Tally 7070C ink-jet printer was the best choice at the time, producing up to 17" x 22" prints at 360dpi, on a wide variety of media, including 140lb smooth watercolor paper and canvas.
What I didn't anticipate was just how much of a difference a good printer actually makes. I started out reveling in color (the same way I did on the computer), but quickly tired of the necessity of glossy paper; instead turning more to the subtle tones that can be produced by ink on paper - especially good paper such as watercolor paper. I could now explore a tonality of expression that is missing from the computer screen - and one that I would not have explored using expensive service bureaus.
In fact, the more I have gotten into the process, the more the computer has become just the tool that I use to produce the image. As a result, I feel that I have started to grow more as an artist over the last little while than at any time in the past that I can remember. This show "Parallel Evolution" is the result of the start of this process. I have gone 'back to the basics' to rediscover the medium and how it can best be utilized, while at the same time I am exploring new avenues in my non-representational art.
Who knows what the future may hold; the more I discover in my work, the more I see new potentials to be explored. Already so many ideas have emerged, I could not possibly ever explore them all.
Technically though, I am already starting to perceive issues that may/will arise for me in the future:
And interestingly (for me anyway);
- How do I make my work more archival? Presently I am using acid-free watercolor paper with 4 coats of a UV filtered varnish (which is the best I can do at present); but new printer/inks are coming on the market that will allow much longer life for prints.
- How can I improve the starting point for my work? New digital cameras and scanners are arriving almost daily, and I am examining their potential for much better sources of input for my work.
- When I show these new images on my web site, should I use the digital image, or a scan of the printed image?
Both have subtle differences
In fact, the main issue I will have to explore, is how to maintain these subtle elements in the image while reducing it (in both size and number of colors) to the point that it can be easily and quickly viewed over the internet.
- the digital image has the better quality
- the printed image has the added textural qualities I am exploring (but is much harder to capture through the scan).
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