Digital Art

In 2006 I had my second summer exhibition at Thornley Woodlands Centre, to commemorate the first successful breeding by a pair of red kites in the Derwent Valley, and just a couple of hundred yards from the Centre itself.
I put together a display of eighteen local scenes incorporating red kites using a multi-format technique of photographic backgrounds, watercolour red kites, composed on computer and painted digitally to give vibrant colourful compositions of a traditional nature in a contemporary style.
My exhibition took over the whole of Thornley Centre for a month and sold a number of prints, and have since sold many more at local outlets and craft fairs, each image being in a limited editions of 50.
I produced images in both portrait and landscape format, but personally I liked the portrait types the best, so here are a selection of my favourites:

Air of Freedom

Around the Houses

Liberty II

Sitting Pretty

Winter Wonderland

I still tinkered around with this idea after the exhibition and produced a few more multi-format prints of scenes of contemporary Gateshead, though did not display these anywhere.

Gateshead Baltic

Gateshead Angel
My next venture into the world of digital art came when I wondered if I took the most ordinary of photographs (which most of those I take invariably are, if indeed that good) and manipulate them on computer to form vibrant compositions.
Still on the subject of wildlife of course, I had photographed a pair of swans from above as they milled around below a bridge I was on, and cropped down and painted digitally they make a good pair of images (I think), certainly more arty than as pure photographs.

mute swan cobb
swalwell bridge

mute swan penn
swalwell bridge
I then trawled my back catalogue of photos taken locally and found a number of photos which were no more than record shots of the birds or other object in question, some slightly out of focus or too distant to be even a half-decent representation. However with a bit of brightness and contrast, upping the resolution, cropping down and eliminating any distractions, they become good semi-abstract representations, with the essence of their identity preserved despite the simplification of shapes and colours.

far pasture

far pasture

low thornley

Dipper on the Derwent
below nine-arches viaduct
Pleased with those results I wondered if starting with a really good photograph and subjecting it to the same drastic alterations would add anything to it, so with kind permission of ex-wildlife photographer Steven Fryer I chose some of his images which were indeed excellent photographs in their own right, but that didn't stop me from playing around with them and made some interesting compositions.

fox on the prowl
far pasture

Tawny Owl
thornley lane

shibdon pond

thornley woods
Over the last few years I've showed many of these prints mainly to fill out exhibitions and the reaction has been good with some images selling really well.

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