Monday, May 28, 2007

A Week With Monet Workshop

I'm happy to announce an exciting new workshop in collaboration with two-time Louisiana Photographer of the Year, Darrell Chitty.

The workshop, titled "A Week With Monet", takes place at the historic Butler-Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana (30 Minutes north of Baton Rouge). Students can pick from one of four workshop dates: August 6-11 and September 6-11.

Darrell and I have been receiving a lot of questions specifically about Darrell's unique art finishing process. Transforming photographic portraits into painted interpretations with Painter and then printing the result onto canvas via inkjet is only half of the process. Darrell then applies oils and varnish to the print to achieve the look and feel of a traditionally painted oil on canvas.

It is this art finishing process that distinguishes the final result from typical canvas prints. These finished art works are indistinguisable from a traditionally painted oil portrait. As a result, the finished portrait (or landscape, stilllife, etc.) project the aura of a unique art object. As such, these art works have a much higher selling point—as well as value in the eyes of the client.

We are pleased to offer an optional two additional days—at no extra charge—to our remaining Week With Monet workshops. These two extra days will be devoted to the finishing process of printing, mounting and hand-oil painting on the image. Taken as a whole, this workshop will take the student through the ENTIRE creative process! Again, there is no additional charge for the two extra days other than the room fee to stay a little longer at the plantation ($100 per night).

Master Corel® Painter™ under the supervision of Impressionist Darrell Chitty, and artist and Painter co-creator, John Derry. Develop a style that no one can duplicate. Study in the same setting that inspired artist John J. Audobon. Travel back to Civil War times. Stay at the historic Butler-Greenwood Plantation in beautiful St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Not only will you learn the technical skills of Painter, but you will better understand the great artists Monet and Sargent. You will be able to duplicate their painting styles. Two projects will be completed during the week. Using live models in vintage clothing, students will master a Monet landscape and a Sargent portrait. You have never experienced a creative retreat in a more historic and inspiring environment than in beautiful St. Francisville.

Eat, drink and sleep with the arts. With this experience you will discover your unique artistic style. This week will be like a Woodstock for Photographers!

Limited Space! This workshop will be limited to no more than 12 students. Personal attention for student development will be guaranteed.

For more information, visit the "A Week With Monet" Workshop web page.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pixels and Pigments

A confluence of technology and tradition is serving to advance digitally created art to a new level of acceptance and appreciation. A traditional art material—pigment, has joined with a relatively new building block of art—pixels, to provide an apt vessel for digital imagery.

Unlike traditional media, digitally created art has been sorely lacking in permanence. Early digital art was largely confined to the monitor. No electricity, no art. Twenty years ago, emerging ink-jet printing technology utilized fugitive dye-based inks—a print exposed to light would begin to fade within months.

Beyond the fading issue, there was the drawback of the non-archival papers supplied with the printers. Attempting to alternatively print on an archival 100% cotton rag paper resulted in a fuzzy image as the applied ink spread into the uncoated surface.

In the intervening years, ink-jet technology has advanced to archival inks and image receivers, including canvas and fine art papers. Art created with Corel Painter can now safely exist in a format that will preserve it with the same permanence as traditional art media. So, the revolution is over? Not by a long shot.

There is a current in the wind these days—the merging of pixels and pigments. Now that pixel-based art can be safely applied to traditional art surfaces like fine art paper and canvas, artists are coming full circle and beginning to embellish these prints with their traditional corresponding mediums. Why?

One of the weak points of digitally created art has been its lack of physicality. Traditional paintings, for example, possess a strong physical component. A painting’s viewer primarily focuses on the pictorial subject matter. However, the presence of the canvas weave, the brush-stroked surface buildup—even the frame—all subtly contribute to the total experience of the painting as object. These tactile qualities imbue an art object with a sense of uniqueness, as well as permanence.

Printing Painter art onto canvas or fine art paper is a big first step towards marrying pixels and traditional media. Embellishing these printed results with mediums like oils or charcoal projects the final work into the realm of a unique object, much like a traditional monoprint. Even if multiples of the image are produced, no two will be exactly alike due to the random variances of the artist’s hand.

We are fortunate to be living during a pivotal point in the evolution of expressive image-making technology. Like the printing press, the computer has enabled an entirely new way of communicating. This new medium melds the old with the new, providing a comfortable—yet revolutionary—form of unique expression embodying the malleability of pixels with the permanence and uniqueness of pigments.

Viva la Revolution!