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Tag: painting

Art Books

In honor of my attempts to summon the Painting Angel (which seem to have been successful), I have splurged and bought myself a few different volumes of glossy full color art books, especially from Taschen, and also Flammarion publishers. For the most part I am looking at a few French and Spanish painters working about 100 years ago, because I am very into that time period lately. There seem to be so many parallels, and 100 years ago is not very long, especially generationally speaking.

Anyway, one thing I’ve pleasantly rediscovered after lapsing in my painting practice for a few years (apart from the occasional random project), is that when you look through art books in this exploratory kind of fashion, you don’t necessarily know what you’re looking for. You have an intuition, a feeling, a kind of line work, a color mood, a way of treating painted subjects. You follow it, but then the artists show you more of the latent space, more of the hypercanvas than you knew existed before. And it broadens you. So much so, that when you get back to the canvas the next time, you’ve learned things you don’t know that you learned, and that you didn’t even really know consciously you were looking at, or looking for.

It’s a really pleasant process, and making a routine of it all makes my heart happy. It gives a new focus and intent to how I spend my time, what I look for, and the types of things I explore. Instead of just being ricocheted back and forth between stupid things on the internet that will most assuredly be gone in a hundred years.

Painting Again

I started painting again and am having a lot of fun getting back into it.

The colors look a little weird on screen as this isn’t the best photo ever, but it will do for now. This is all done with a liner brush because I lover those. I forget the size, maybe 16″ x 20″ or thereabouts. I’ve done a number of other ones since then.

I actually feel like I learned a lot about “regular” art making by using AI so much. Something about using the painting tools in this case to sort of systematically explore a certain neighborhood and adjacent areas in latent space. These paintings are also very algorithmic in the decision-making process as I go, but applied through a sort of highly organic filtering. (I don’t know if anyone else can see it, but there’s a very subtle nod to the Sorcerer in the Trois Freres cave in France.)

I tried uploading this to Dalle3 and asking it to make similar images but it really choked. It was like it fundamentally failed to see what makes this unique and interesting and turned it into just AI “churt” is a non-word that springs to mind to describe the kind of non-art that it churned out in response. It’s interesting especially because to me the line-making is very algorithmically (rules) driven, but obviously the system doesn’t think through generating images in a procedural line-by-line build up around preceding forms on a canvas. That’s not how it works at all.

Here’s a sample of what it came up with in response:

It’s not that it’s so terrible to even so terribly far off, but it missed kind of the key point of the entire method I applied: none of the lines ever intersect.

Anyway, I don’t care that much what AI thinks or doesn’t think about this work, because it’s just fun to do it, and it’s helping me to have this to concentrate on, this very practical embodied activity, drawing lines out on canvas. It doesn’t really matter if AI can do it better or faster or more, because the fun is in the sheer act of it, and having nothing and no one interpolating between me and it.

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