Once you get the hang of it, allowing process to inform outcome is liberating. You make peace with the concept that the unexpected is a starting point for change of direction that has potential to develop in many different ways. The more you are committed to embracing process as an integral part of creation, the more it influences outcome… and a joy in the challenge set.
Perhaps a little controversially, I feel that Hockney has not exactly helped validate the media as an extension of traditional drawing. His meanderings into the digital art world with his iPad drawings are shockingly limited in skilful application of drawing/painting technique and frankly just a bit naff, lacking in spirit and unchallenging. As a former art and graphic design teacher & lecturer I would honestly expect better from an S2 (Year 8) art class. Never one for an unbalanced analysis however, I accept that digital drawing or fine art produced via digital means is still very much an emerging art form. That in itself is quite incredible, given that the digital image manipulation tool Photoshop was invented in 1987.
The exhibitor giants of the art world are still curiously limited in their recognition and approval of art created with digital drawing and painting tools.
Whilst photography and video art have a long relationship in gallery exhibitions, digital drawing and painting has not matched pace. The Tate collections include early computer generated art (Harold Cohen) and excellent landscape paintings based on a digital image (Dan Hays) but the mixed media combination of the digital and traditional paint is perhaps still largely still considered an emerging photographic art concept (MoCP).
Until now that is! www.clarebarberartist.com
I am often asked how a piece that uses digital painting is an original artwork, is it not a print? In short, the answer is no. Each piece is created from an initial pen & ink or digital sketch. The work progresses through a layering process. Ink painting/digital painting/ink painting/digital drawing/ink painting/pen and ink. The final piece emerges through this process. I do sell prints of some of my original pieces – but these are scanned reproductions on specialist giclee print papers.
I am influenced by a wide range of contemporary and modern art. I particularly admire early 20th century constructivist graphic art for its sublime combinations of photography, typography and print design.
The movement, that celebrated industrial assemblage, collage of imagery and text embodied a belief that art was to be built, rather than reliant upon historical preferences, and was strongly influenced by cubism and futurism with an ideology that attributed art ought to be used for social objective. The constructivist ideal was tolerated under Lenin, but abruptly shut down by Stalin banning all independent art groups. The movement and it’s fickle acceptance and rebuttal by Soviet Russian governments can be seen as a real life fable, demonstrating what can happen when governments impose taste (and freedom of expression is suppressed) on the cultural life of a population.
Shepard Fairy made magnificent reference to this in his ‘Make Art not War’ street murals in Los Angeles 2013 and Berlin 2014 and the included wording ‘Eyes Open, Mind Open’. A sentiment I strongly support.
Other influences on my work are more traditional. The Scottish Colourists concepts of heightened naturalistic colour are expanded in my work to evoke emotive and distinctive colour relationships that are present in the landscape and mind’s eye.
A long standing influence from college lecturing days is the street photography of Graham Fink and the wildly abstract Typography of the legendary David Carson. Both artists have a deep understanding of how to communicate belonging and that is a crucial aspect of my work.