Thursday, September 30, 2010

About Enhancement

The image on the left is a fine scan of an original, painted more than thirty years ago. It is completely faithful in color and detail. The image on the right is the giclĂ©e I am making of it using Photoshop as my tool. 

I started using Photoshop ten years ago; reluctantly, I might add. A friend insisted that I see it demonstrated in a classroom. And so I fell, head over heels. Now it seems that my studio materials, paint, pastels, pencils and such, take me only partway to the vision I hold. Photoshop takes it further. It is a huge application and while I have dedicated many hours to learning it, much more remains to be digested. It endlessly fascinating and rewarding, an artist’s tool deluxe. There are other applications for painting using computer technology; they all have their devotees.

The visual artist often clings to a vision far beyond her capacity to realize. The vision may evolve; in my case it has become simpler in format and more complex in color. It is still beyond my grasp but I am grateful to have the tools technology has provided.

By the way, the image on the right is unfinished; it might appear here again when it comes up to snuff.

Go to Media Arts and Technology to see what comes of marrying the arts to technology at University of California, Santa Barbara.


  1. "The visual artist often clings to a vision far beyond her capacity to realize."

    Is this a quote, Joan, or your sage comment? Either way, I think artists need that vision, and in a way, it's important that it's unattainable. Isn't that what keeps us going? I often feel good about a particular work I've done, but I'm never totally satisfied.

  2. They are my words but I think I have read or heard that thought expressed before by others. And, yes, I agree. It is certainly a part of what keeps us going. That and often the idea that what we have in mind is far superior to anything we've done before. Most of the time it is our fantasies and the love for the work itself that we are hooked on. I always feel that life will not be long enough to get through the work that clamors to be done. And, of course, I would not want to finish with it.