Photography and paint have been merging into one medium since the first photographs recorded light at the end of the 1830s in France and England. The inexorable union of photography and paint has been accelerated with large format digital printers able to print on a wide array of materials. Sculpture and digital imaging are merging too. Today anyone with $1200 can go to a local retailer and buy a 3d printer. Exploring the movement of ink and paint on a smooth flat surface continues to intrigue artists especially when the process is reactive.
Imagine wet digital ink loosely holding an image composed with software and a camera. Next, test the limit of tools and materials as you manipulate the wet inks . Try solvents and varieties of paint. Here are the results of a few recent experiments with an Epson Workforce 7010 printer capable of printing 13×19 sheets and, my paints and tools. The tools range from fingers and rags to squeegees and brushes. Here are examples of the process from the photograph as snapped by the camera through software/hardware effects to the final manual manipulations using paint, solvent, and hand tooling.
In example 1 you see my original photo in front of St. Marks in Venice and a cropped, altered image of the same photo. I used ” Photo Elements” software. Example 2 is an oil painting on brushed silver anodized aluminum which I made in response to seeing the distortions I discovered in example 1. Example 3 is same photo blown up to a 13×13″ image which has been manipulated with solvents, squeegee effects, brush and finger effects and no additional paint.
Let’s break this process down into smaller steps. First (example 4.) I took a photo while gently moving my hand as I made the shot of the interior of the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Second (example 5), I distorted and compressed the image into a square format. Third (example 6), I ran the image through my printer after super saturating the surface with ink. Fourth (example 7), I manipulated the image with brushes, squeegees, and solvent. I added no paint.
Let’s stretch the process out by adding paint. First ( example 8), a photo of Koi from an arboretum in Minneapolis. Second (example 9), I again super saturate the print with inks and amplify the color and contrast effects. Third (example 10), I begin image manipulation with just a squeegee. Fourth (example 11), I pursue further image manipulation by blurring with paper towels, model the image with a brush applications of solvent, add oil paint to sections, and blur the image with further brush manipulations
My personal favorite image is this one (example 12.) I have overlaid several interior views (example 13) of the New York’s Metropolitan Museum and further distorted the image which you see on the bottom. The final image on the top is same as example 12.