Art Defines Us

Great civilizations are not remembered by their business people or political leaders. They are remembered by their art.

MEDUSA TOO: A Frenetic Celebration of Life

For all its flighty, swirly motion, I am pleased with the final weight and balance of MEDUSA TOO. Created with a Wacom graphics tablet almost entirely in Corel Painter, I find there is something elephantine and calming about this otherwise chaotic composition. During it’s creation, I was searching for a way to tame near-pandemonium and introduce order. This was achieved by slicing my original foundation image vertically and repeating a portion of it. Then I experimented with overlapping the two parts and adjusting both the color and layer opacities to produce the lighter center slice. That move turned out to be just what I was looking for: It added a disciplined design element to the composition and instilled a level of ordered repetition. Both of those things served to tame the hurricane of flying tendrils and set the composition solidly on it’s rectangular field. MEDUSA TOO is a swirling, frenetic celebration of life. It is also an engaging portrait of seductive excess. This piece shows well with an ivory black top mat and a digital white bottom mat. I like to finish it with a contemporary Satin Black frame and non-glare acrylic. The museum-quality giclee is beautifully printed on Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. As shown, the overall dimensions are 43.3″ x 28.5″. For the next seven days (through August 16, 2008) I am making it available to you fully framed and finished for $545.99. The art normally ships in 6-8 business days. You may contact me directly to answer questions or assist you with your order, or click here to order...

On Finding Your Own Voice

“How do you do that?” Artists hear that question a lot. But the answers are nearly always unsatisfying, aren’t they? Here’s why: Because more often than not, the underlying question is “How can I do that?” The answer always involves life experiences, education, mentors, motivations, locations, successes, failures, tools and mysterious mental wranglings that are different from yours. Oh that we could simply buy John Lennon’s guitar or Picasso’s brushes and get on with it! That last bit isn’t so far off the mark. Most artists start out copying things they see, including the work of artists who inspire them. Does that sound like you? As you gain confidence with your tools and technique — even if they were originally the tools and techniques of others — your own style will emerge. It’s only a matter of stepping up, getting involved and staying in the game. Step by step you will find your way through. Then, sooner than you think, you will be asked the inevitable question: How do you do that? Image courtesy saintbob, used under a Creative Commons...

Do You Have a Pivot Point?

What sort of art do you produce when you are free to produce anything you want? That question might be complicated for two reasons: Do you know what you want? Do you have the skills to produce your art in a way that does justice to your vision? For me, those questions were answered with a digital painting I completed in early 2001. Until then, I had created some interesting fine art, but I wasn’t focused. I was working with paintings, assemblages, photography and digital art. The most fun I had was throwing paint on canvas and moving it around. I loved that part! Everything after that — attempting to finish the piece or make it into “art” — not so much. I owned stacks of unfinished canvases. I felt digital imagery held a lot of promise and I bruised my computer attempting to reproduce all the good parts of throwing paint on canvas. I filled up gigabytes of disc space with unfinished art. Then one afternoon I created the piece (above) that became SMOKE. Oddly enough, the feeling was similar to the theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies: “And then one day he was shootin’ at some food, and up from the ground came a bubblin’ crude…” I had it, I knew I had it, and it was just that simple! SMOKE represents no-strings-attached art. It was produced for the pure joy of doing it. But it has since become much more to me; a personal touchstone; literally a jumping off point for all that was to come. By understanding this piece, I understood where I could go...

Disney to Miss Ford: “Women do not do any of the creative work…”

Today anyone will tell you that women are among the most vibrantly creative forces on the planet. Apparently that was not common knowledge in 1938. Below is a 70 year old letter (click on the image to view it at full size) from Walt Disney Productions to Miss Mary Ford, who had applied to be an animator at the studio. She was summarily rejected for animation training because — ready? — she was a woman. Oh man. And you think your rejection letters are unfair. Further, even though women could be hired as Inkers and Painters, Miss Ford was strongly discouraged from applying for either of those positions “as there are really very few openings in comparison with the number of girls who apply.” The letter was signed by one Mary Cleave, who only neglected to add “Wicked Witch.” Oh wait. I suppose the picture by her name clearly indicates her position. Okay, that was cruel. Mary was just doing her job. This policy wouldn’t have been exclusive to Disney, of course. All studios had the same policy in 1938. Hang onto your rejection letters. In 70 years they may seem just as crazy to your grand children. Image courtesy Sim Sandwich, used under a Creative Commons...

New Art Installed at Desert Mountain

These pictures show me at the home of Terese Rose, one of my most ardent and long-term patrons. She has recently installed several pieces of my new art in her Desert Mountain home near Scottsdale, Arizona. I helped her choose and size each artwork to convey specific moods for different rooms, then had museum-quality giclees prepared and custom finished. She ordered a combination of stretched canvas giclees and a series of large, beautifully framed art prints. In this instance, I am fortunate to live only two hours from Scottsdale. When the art arrived, I carefully hung each piece for her. She truly has one of the most elegant homes in Desert Mountain, and it was thrilling to see my art in such opulent surroundings. The art in the above photographs is called “PARIS 1927.” It is finished with a smooth black frame which combines a classic swan curve with a lovely triple-tiered step on the outer...

Introducing RIPPLE — New Art for Summer

Today I feature one of my latest works, called Ripple. My intent was to create a strong image that was bold, clean and sassy. I’ve used a very limited color pallet on this one, mostly blues, but a full tonal range from stark white to deep black. I’m happy with how it seems to move. Notice the upper left quadrant, where the ripples and fade-aways are not predictable, but irregular. I have avoided symmetrical repetition and forced a series of illogical curves. When these designs are married to the more “coordinated” bottom curves, the juxtaposition sets up a nice tension which makes the piece more exciting. The above full-size close-ups reveal an earthy, gritty texture to the piece which is not apparent when viewing the web-ready representations. This is not pixel-distortion, but an intended texture I worked into the art to give it body and substance. RIPPLE sings under non-glare acrylic, a white conservation matte and a traditional black scoop frame with low-lights of gold and red. Very pretty! Click here to order this piece for your home, office, cruise line or international resort...

Creative Freedom is Eating Strawberries at Three in the Morning

Sedona in the moonlight is terrific. I live at the base of Thunder Mountain and all of it’s craggy magnificence is reflected in the lunar light. The whole town has a “no streetlight” policy, which is wildly controversial in some circles but superb for star-gazing. If you want to be more creative, break out of your standard routine from time to time. Get up at 3am. Have some strawberries. It’s fun, especially when the crickets are chirping and the moon is full. Nothing says “I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn” like eating fresh strawberries in the middle of the night. It’s like taking a little break from sleeping, if that’s possible. Is Sedona an artistic paradise? Absolutely. But when you think about it, isn’t anywhere — especially where you are right now — a paradise when you are free to enjoy life’s little pleasures on your own terms? Photo by Jeff Kubina, used under a Creative Commons...

Purchase Fine Art Prints
Dan Turner Open Edition Fine Art Prints are available on a variety of museum-quality, fine art substrates, including paper, canvas, metal and acrylic. To explore mat, frame, size and price options in real time — and to order fine art prints — simply click the “Purchasing Options” link on any of the Gallery images. Please contact me if I can assist you with sizing or selection.

Contact
Dan Turner  |  P.O. Box 1372  |  Sedona, AZ 86339
Phone: 928-853-6093

email: dan@danturnerfineart.com
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