Robotics Applied to Art
Designing paintings in Matricism requires the artist to break away, to some extent, from the traditional mindset taught to artist throughout history. In Matricism, the significance of each dot of paint takes on new perspective. In Pointillism, it is just a note of color for whatever the subject is. In Matricism, the single dot of color is given its’ own meaning, it plays its own role as an element of the design. It is amazing how powerful a single dot of color can be and how surprisingly communicative in itself. When strung into strings of dots, it has meaning of its own, expressing a melody that enhances the subject. A single dot of paint gives substance to the unseen, directs the eye, or when put together can plot a path through a visual statement. But in Pointillism dots simply paint the colors of the subjects within the visual plane.
This painting, entitled “Observation and Execution” (36 x 48 inches done in 2005) is classic Matricism where you see how line is playing an important element of communicating my idea to the viewer. What you see are 1/8 inch size dots down to ones about the size of a pin head. For an artist, there is nothing more valuable than the ability to observe and analyze. We must see a million details, boiling it down to as few as possible to make our statement. This explains why classical painters are taught to see in only nine values of light and dark. It takes years of training the mind’s eye to do this competently. I wanted to make the viewer drill into my eye and feel how intensely I am studying their visual image. I wanted to capture their eye and hold it. The circle lines of dots do exactly that. You can see from the self portrait, making a swipe with the brush, and intensely studying my subject, sets the statement. With Matricism, I can add those circles of dots emanating from my eye representing an added element of design. This helps to reinforce and clarify the statement I am making.
This next painting, etitled “Observation”, uses a pattern that is somewhat different yet just as effective, helping me make the statement about observation and the inquisitive mind. A pattern based on light and shadow plays a more dominant function in this work whereas line dominates more in the first piece.
Every pianist knows playing scales is simpler than playing a great concerto. This too is like Matricism to Pointillism so therefore, the next challenge for my new tool as to take it into the world of Pointillism and see if it could be used exactly like the Master Seurat and capture the world around me. It happens that I live near one of the most beautiful and unique lakes in the entire country, Caddo Lake. It is a magical place taking you back to 10,000 B.C. To program in the theories of the Pointillist, I needed to play with the physics of color, the harmonies of different hues within the home color of an object. If wanting a purple hue, the artist would paint that area with small dots of blue and red. When the viewer gets back, their eye mixes the two colors and they see a purple hue. Getting more advanced, the artist could be mixing as many as 5 primary colors to achieve a desired effect.
This work in Pointillism is from my current series of Caddo Lake, Texas. I don’t believe there is any more challenging landscape in the country. In this painting, I used a high key Post Impressionistic approach amplifying the intensities of the colors to heighten the sense of blazing color. The painting consists of over 320,000 dabs of paint!
This next Caddo Lake painting I approached with a color analysis based on classical color theories. Neutral grays were used to control the intensities of color. Since I am unable to mix the gray into the color, I use a varying amount of gray dots in proportion to primary color dots, with the more grays added as objects recede.
For those who might enjoy observing how I build a painting in more detail, I grabbed my video cam, strapped on a wireless mic, and tried my hand at putting together a small video that explains the process in greater detail. I kept the project simple and instead of a hand done design as an under painting as used in my modern matrix paintings, I used a photograph. I manipulate the image with graphic tools and then design it into a pointillist painting using color harmonies as the early Pointillist explored. This made the video project shorter, keeping it under ninety thousand dots, and squeezed a one week shoot into a forty minute video. It may look easy, but as an artist who has performed in most every style invented, I assure you this is not an easy process. It takes the physical stress off my body and vastly increases the speed of execution but the intellectual challenge of programing an image demands a deep knowledge of the physics and chemistry of color and is unforgiving of the most simple mistake. As you view this video keep in mind, one man, one camera, and a copy of Movie Maker so forgive the rawness of the production. I would have loved to had a sound man!