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By R.J. Rummel

For a web site like this you might expect that if any paintings were shown, they would be like Francisco Goya's--a display of torture, executions, hangings, and all the ways people are murdered by government. But since this web site includes a large number of photographs in place of such paintings, in painting itself I seek only beauty and aesthetic truth.

This and the following galleries provides thumbnails, which when clicked will take you to the painting shown. All these paintings are digital art and were done with the computer graphics program Photoshop and painting program Painter. In describing most of the art here I use the term "paintage", which I should explain. A paintage is neither a painting alone or a montage. Now, a montage involves combining photos or designs into one composition. But what I have done is modify bits and pieces of photos, compose them, paint, and overpaint all in order to integrate them as an artistic composition. Then I subjected the result to various filters and color/texture/lighting adjustments. Since the result goes beyond a montage, but is not a pure painting, I call it a paintage.

I must say that the digital revolution in painting offers incredible opportunity for the artist. I sit at the computer, a composer with all these marvelous instruments at my disposal. There are diverse digital brushes (oil, watercolor, pastel, pencils, charcoal, pens, etc.), papers (silk, rice, sand, canvas, watercolor, etc.), and images (as of leaves, trees, water, flowers, and people) that can be added in whole or in part. Then there are textures, filters, colors, effects, and so on, that can be applied to the composition. And all or any of this can be changed, overlaid, erased, recomposed in a second. With no odor, no physical cleaning up. Do I want to include part of a photo I took? Then scan it, copy and past the part I want, and then filter as desired, add it to the painting, and move and adjust it as necessary for the composition. I remain awed by all this, and feel that I'm just beginning to realize the aesthetic potential of this revolution.

These paintings and paintages were done on a ColorSync, Mac monitor. All final color adjustments were made in Photoshop for consistency, using Adobe RGB (1998), gamma 2.20. This is a wide-gamut color, rich to the eye compared to most other color spaces. Since Mac monitors have a gamma of 1.80 versus the gamma of 2.20 for other monitors, I compared each of the paintings in a Mac Monitor color space (Apple RGB) and in the space of other monitors (sRGB), and then adjusted the painting's gamma to fit between. This means that the paintings are all a little brighter than I want them, but not as bright as they would be on a non-Mac monitor if I had not made the adjustment.

There is another problem. Web browsers show no more than 256 colors, and differ among themselves which of the 256 they show and how they dither off-browser colors to those they show. But the web is what creates the limitations, since most computers and monitors now can show millions of colors This means that the digital artist may spend hours getting the color just right on the computer, but then when the painting is saved for the web, the carefully determined colors often can only be approximated. On many of the paintings/paintages shown in this and the other galleries, the color has lost some of its punch that I labored to create--some color saturation is reduced, colors become lighter, or they slightly change hue.

A final note. Different monitors not only come in different sizes, but also are set to different resolutions. What appears small on a monitor set to 1024 x 870 pixels may overwhelm one set to 640 x 480. At my latest reading, near 53 percent of those visiting my web site have their monitors set to 800 x 600 pixels, 38 percent to 1024 x 768, or greater, and only 9 percent to 640 x 480. So that ar least 90 percent of you will be able to see all of each in your browser window, therefore, I made sure no painting was bigger than 700 x 550 pixels. If you have a large monitor set to a large resolution, therefore, you may want to decrease the resolution to best view these pictures. Incidentally, it doesn't matter whether the pixels per inch (ppi) are set to 72 (the Mac standard) or 94 (the non-Mac standard). What counts is the resolution--the pixel size of a painting.

Oops, sorry to go on. I guess once a teacher always a teacher. I probably would see fit to explain why soup should be eaten with a spoon and not a fork. Quick, here's my pictures.















Go to Gallery 2 or Gallery 3

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