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Archive for January, 2012

New Algorithmic Art and a Processing Tutorial

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Aftermath Digital Painting
Aftermath Digital Painting, 32 x 16 inches

All in all this has been a very good day. It started too early when my alarm went off at 6:00am. While fixing my son’s lunch, I hit upon the following limerick, a testament to having gotten too little sleep (I didn’t go to bed till after 1:00am):


My alarm goes off at six o’clock
It always comes as quite a shock
There in bed I wish to lay
But I have to rise and face the day
Gee I hope I don’t get artist’s block

Seeing my son off to school and with coffee in hand I settled in at the computer. I began by putting the finishing touches on the web pages for my series of five works of algorithmic art titled Cubic Disarray. Fortunately most of the work was done for me by a program I wrote to fill in a skeleton art gallery web page with the relevant data from a control file. This program also produces the XML entries for my sitemap.xml and newsfeed.xml files. The five works in the Cubic Disarray series are:

Cubic Disarray: Division algorithmic art
Cubic Disarray:
Division

Cubic Disarray: Bisection algorithmic art
Cubic Disarray:
Bisection

Cubic Disarray: Impending Unity algorithmic art
Cubic Disarray:
Impending Unity

Cubic Disarray: Point of Radiance algorithmic art
Cubic Disarray:
Point of Radiance

Cubic Disarray: Turbulence algorithmic art
Cubic Disarray:
Turbulence

When I decided yesterday that I was going to add these to my web site and make them available for purchase, I knew that I wanted to give credit to Georg Nees, whose work Schotter was the inspiration for my series. My idea quickly snowballed out of control. My first impulse was to just give a line of credit on each page. My next impulse was to create a web page dedicated to Schotter (German for gravel). I then decided to write a program using Processing that would recreate Schotter. Once I had the program written, it seemed only natural to turn it into a tutorial.

This morning I finished work on the tutorial and published it, along with the Cubic Disarray series to my web site. Included in the tutorial are a side by side comparison of Nees’ original Schotter and the Processing recreation. If you are a Processing user or are just curious to learn about algorithmic art, then check out my Georg Nees, Processing, and a Schotter Tutorial

In other good news I heard from an art gallery in Chicago today that is interested in my art. Hopefully we’ll be a good match for each other. Right now some of my space art is being exhibited and is available for purchase from Paper Crown Gallery located in Arlington Heights.

Lastly and best of all I completed two digital paintings today. Now one of these, titled City Lights, I started today and finished today. The other painting, titled Aftermath, I only finished today. Believe it or not I actually began this piece in April 2009 and last worked on it in April 2009. For almost three years this piece sat collecting electronic dust before I quite by accident rediscovered it earlier today. At 16 x 32 inches, Aftermath is one of my larger pieces and I have used it to illustrate this post.

So today was definitely a day without artist’s block. But who knows what tomorrow holds.

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New Art

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Autumn Mountains Digital Art Painting
Autumn Mountains Digital Painting

I last wrote about my creating a database for my art (see Creating An Art Inventory). As a part of that process I made a New Year’s resolution to get all my art added to my web site. Given the large number of digital paintings that I have to add, I decided to write a C++ program to create the needed gallery pages. The program works by pulling the relevant data from a control file created from my art inventory and writing that information to a skeleton gallery page. I’m happy to say it worked like a charm.

The first two paintings I’ve added are:

Autumn Mountains digital painting
Autumn Mountains
Portrait of Amie digital painting
Portrait of Amie

Portrait of Amie (a cropped version is shown here) is the final version in a series of paintings I made while developing and testing a digital painting program that employs what I refer to as an algorithmic paintbrush. This painting was particularly challenging because not only was I developing a work of art but I was simultaneously developing the painting program to create that art.

Autumn Mountains came to me unexpectedly. I was flipping through my copy of The Atlas of Middle Earth and paused on a page with a map of Ered Luin (Blue Mountains) and Grey Havens. It brought to mind the line art of J. R. R. Tolkien used to illustrate my very old copy of The Lord of the Rings. With that style in mind, I created the foreboding, fantasy landscape Autumn Mountains. Note that a wallpaper sized version is available from the Autumn Mountains gallery page.

More art to follow so stay tuned.

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