17 December 2007

M. Katherine Hurley and computers

Last night, I was reading the Artist's Magazine article about M. Katherine Hurley's art. In the step-by-step demo that accompanied the article, she mentioned using a digital image of the unfinished art to experiment with color, on her computer. This helped her make color adjustments that dramatically enhanced an already beautiful painting.

I was stunned. Why didn't I think of trying this, myself? It's absolutely brilliant, and I intend to experiment with this in my future work. (I use Adobe PhotoShop, but almost any digital graphics program will work.)

Hurley's work is beautiful. (See her online demo with a b&w value study at http://www.artistsmagazine.com/hurleyvideo ) In her oil paintings, she's capturing the same kinds of colors that inspire me, and her subjects remind me of New England's unique and magnificent landscapes.

I'm working on several last-minute canvases as Christmas gifts. Hurley's soft edges and almost abstract compositions remind me to avoid being neurotic about details in my own work.

Since my current work is very small (4" x 6"), this is tremendously helpful. Otherwise, I have a tendency to try to include every single detail--what I call the "two-hair brush technique"--that is far from aesthetic.

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