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Archive for the ‘Digital Art’ Category

New Art: Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright art
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

I just finished work on a new artwork titled Tiger Tiger Burning Bright. The inspiration for this rather colorful rendition of a tiger is a poem by English poet William Blake. I first read this poem in a college class on English literature and it remains a favorite of mine. My artwork’s title Tiger Tiger Burning Bright is taken from the first line of the poem.

This art began life as a standard color photograph I took of a tiger many years ago. It took some work, as well as three separate graphics programs (two from Adobe and one of my own design) to ascend from a fairly standard photograph of a tiger in a natural setting to the colorful illustration of the isolated tiger you see here. The original full-sized artwork is 6300 pixels wide by 5500 pixels tall.

I’ve used a greatly downsized, heavily cropped version of the art to illustrate this post. While I have not added this art to my own web site, you can see the uncropped version on its Redbubble product page:

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright artwork on Redbubble

The Tyger By William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016
Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016

Yesterday I put together my Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar for 2016. While I missed most of the Christmas shopping days, I did get it completed with several days to spare so that folks can receive it in time for Christmas. Who knows, you may be like me and wait until the last minute to do your Christmas present buying.

Now I did not set out to create a calendar for Christmas. As it happens, over the course of the last couple months I have made available on Redbubble a number of works of photography (and derivative art) that featured various views of synthesizers. The photographs were all taken at the Knobcon synthesizer convention (see my blog post Knobcon 4 and The Raiders Of The Lost Arp). Over the weekend I uploaded my 12th work of synthesizer art/photography and it was at that point that I asked myself the question "Would these 12 works make for a good calendar?" In reviewing the 12 I realized that they would make for a decent calendar. All I had to do was create the appropriate cover art.

And that’s how my Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016 came about. Please note that for today only, Monday December 14, Redbubble is offering a 20% discount on all purchases. To obtain the discount, use the code LASTCHANCE at checkout.

The 12 works that constitute the calendar are:

You can see my Synthesizer Art and Photography Calendar 2016 here. You may also be interested in checking out my Redbubble Portfolio.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Algorithmic Abstract Art Orientation

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Tunnel Vision Algorithmic Abstract Art
Tunnel Vision Algorithmic Abstract Art

Over the last several days I’ve created a number of new works of algorithmic art. One of these pieces is Tunnel Vision – shown above. After creating this particular artwork I began to wonder if the orientation I had used in its creation would actually be the orientation that other people would find to be the most aesthetically appealing. To get an idea of what that answer might be I posted the image below to several art groups and asked people to identify which of the four orientations they found to be the most aesthetically pleasing.

abstract algorithmic art orientation choices
The Four Artwork Orientation Choices

While early voting had A as the overwhelming preference, by the time voting was effectively over, D had emerged as a close runner up. With respect to the two portrait oriented choices, I find it easy to see why D was clearly preferred to C as that’s the choice that I find more aesthetically pleasing. With respect to the two landscape oriented choices, option A was clearly preferred over option B. Again I agree.

Abstract Art Orientation Survey Results
Abstract Art Orientation Survey Results

Taking a step back, you can see in the survey results that there is almost a 50-50 split between people selecting a landscape orientation versus a portrait orientation. So the real challenge is choosing between options A and D with the core question being does this artwork work better as a portrait-oriented artwork or as a landscape-oriented artwork? Given the symmetry of this piece, I think the answer to this question is really one of personal taste.

Creating Tunnel Vision

In creating Tunnel Vision, I was working with a program that is a descendant of a very simple spirograph program I had written for a class I taught on using Processing to create digital spirographs and harmonographs. The image below is an example of the type of output that original spirograph program created.

Original spirograph program output
Original spirograph program output

Over a period of time I gradually enhanced and expanded that program along several separate aesthetic lines of evolution. Tunnel Vision is the result of one of those evolutionary lines.

And My Aesthetic Vote Is…

When I created Tunnel Vision, I did so with the orientation of the canvas corresponding to option A. And it was with that landscape orientation in mind that I modified various parameters to create a work that satisfied my personal aesthetic. Fortunately for me the survey results served as a confirmation of the creative choices I had made.

Open Edition Prints

Open edition prints of Tunnel Vision are available from the following art print sites:

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Makers Faire Milwaukee, Charon Wallpaper, and Art Workflow

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Inside Makers Faire Milwaukee
Inside Makers Faire Milwaukee

A couple weeks ago I attended Makers Faire Milwaukee. I had meant to do a write up of my experience but I’ve had a case of writer’s block in figuring out just what I wanted to say. I was at Makers Faire for two reasons. First, I was conducting a workshop on Creating Digital Spirographs and Harmonographs with Processing – a favorite of mine as it combines art with math with programming.

Second, wearing my NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador hat, I delivered a presentation on the New Horizons mission to Pluto. With respect to my Pluto talk, a number of the illustrations I use are either my own renders or my own interpretations of New Horizons imagery. For example, here is a free wallpaper version of my enhanced and colorized image of Charon that I’ve previously shared on social media.

Lastly I’ve been adding new fields to my art inventory spreadsheet that I hope to be able to use to help automate the production of gallery pages here on my web site. While I was at it, I decided to do a basic write-up of the data keeping portion of my art work flow. If this is of interest to you, then see My Art Workflow – The Management Bits.

With respect to my art, consider checking out my portfolios on the following art print on demand sites.

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Selling Art on Crated

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Jim Plaxco's Crated Portfolio
Jim Plaxco’s Crated Portfolio

Last friday I began selling open edition prints on crated.com. I initially uploaded only a few artworks while I got a feel for their workflow and researched the site. As an artist selling art, my initial experience with the site has been positive. As a part of my initial research into the site I’ve written a review about crated.com as a platform for selling art: Selling Art on Crated.com – A Review.

Since then I’ve added a few more artworks to my Crated portfolio and created several galleries. You can view my work at Jim Plaxco’s portfolio on Crated and if you are a member follow me as well.

If you are an artist investigating crated.com as a platform for selling art, you may find my article
Selling Art on Crated.com a useful addition to your research.

Following are the artworks that I have added to date on Crated.com. Clicking any picture will take you to that artwork’s page on Crated.


The 42 Million Pixel Shark digital painting
Nebular Connection digital painting
The Girl from Alpha Centauri digital painting
Digital generative painting of American author Edgar Allan Poe
Grecian Seaside Village digital painting
The Mirror in the Water is an abstract digital painting
Cape Cod Uninhabited digital painting
Sunset on the Marsh digital painting
Mistress Moon astronomical art
Hup Ho World cityscape painting of downtown Chicago

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A Redbubble Review and Free Wallpaper Art

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst
Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

I set up an artist’s account on Redbubble a long time ago but confess to never having really used it. By chance I happened upon a link by an artist on Google+ to their Redbubble profile – at which time I decided to think critically about Redbubble as a selling platform and whether or not I should keep my account there. This led me to write up a review of Redbubble as a sales platform for artists. As a part of this review I thought it would be a good idea to upload some new artwork on the basis that this would help me with my review process. By coincidence I had just completed a new work of art using a 3D image painting program I had just finished writing. I decided to make that piece available as an open edition print on Redbubble as a part of my review process.

I originally intended to make my Redbubble review available here on my blog but judged it to be too long for a blog post. So I’m making it available as an article on my web site. You can find the review here:

Selling Art On Redbubble – A Review.

The review reflects my feelings about using Redbubble as a platform for monetizing my art. Spoiler Alert: my Redbubble review is a positive one. In fact the process of writing this review makes it more likely that I will become more active on Redbubble. My only negative issues were with regard to the profit potential for artists selling on Redbubble (addressed in the review) and that their web site is not mobile friendly.

Currently I have the following artworks for sale on Redbubble:

The Damien Hirst Illustration

I’ve illustrated this post with a small digital painting I just did of the artist Damien Hirst. I’m making a free wallpaper version available for anyone interested. Note that this is for personal, non-commercial use only.

Click here for the wallpaper version of Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

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