Artipathy discussion

Imaginative Realism > Who is James Gurney?

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Check out his website:
And here's the Wikipedia reference:
And just to put it all in the same place, even though I mentioned it elsewhere, his blog:

message 2: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments His youtube channel is usually a lot of fun to watch as well:

Some of the one-minute spots to promote the book are hilarious.

message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Thanks, I'll check it out, Kay!

message 4: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments He is also a very nice man. If you send him stuff sometimes he will critique it for you, although he is incredibly busy. He also travels to a lot of film and industry schools to give talks....dinoriffic!

message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Wow, that is cool to know. He sounded like a great guy in his Sidebar Nation interview. Have you heard of them, Todd? I'm getting a lot out of their podcasts. Gurney's was one of the golden ones.

message 6: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments Have not heard of them, but will check them out thanks

message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
At the risk of repeating myself, here is the link:

message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Todd, did you ever send anything to Gurney? Heard him talk? I'd be interested to hear what you might have found most inspiring or helpful in his discourse.

message 9: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments Kim wrote: "Todd, did you ever send anything to Gurney? Heard him talk? I'd be interested to hear what you might have found most inspiring or helpful in his discourse."
Hi, yep i have talked to him a little bit. I sent him a landscape image to sort out the problems with some depth and detail issues. He had good comments about pushing back some of the objects i had, by muting and mixing comp. colors with the original ambient color. He also had determined that my foreground objects needed to stand out more and be arranged a little better, which i did.
He had many comments on the reflectivity of water(alot of that on his blog), and the realism of some of the surfaces. He is pretty into that and knows a lot(i should underline that), a lot about the true nature of surface properties and why they work the way they do. I fixed most of the problems and sent him an update, but at that point felt the image was overworked, so took what i learned and applied it to future paintings.
Anyways, overall he is a super nice guy, very very informative, and even if you don't like his style or approach, he knows a lot and you can definitely apply many of the topics he talks about to your pieces.

message 10: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Wow, that is great that he would give you so much advice! I have to say, I had to look up ambient color. Is that a term generally used with computer graphics? I love that there is a word for the color that bounces off of other objects onto each other and into the shadow. I'm going to go through his blog throughly now to glean what I can. The water reflectivity information interests me as we are surrounded by it here in Holland and I've developed quite a fascination for what water does to a landscape. I thought a lot about surface or texture in my last painting, like the reflectivity of a onion versus glass etc. Finding words to explain that is tricky. That's cool that you could apply his advice to other work. That's what it's all about isn't it? Building knowledge and ability. Is your work primarily digital?

message 11: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments Sounds good, he has tons of water advice.
My work is mainly digital now, but i am a traditional artist by nature, degree in painting so forth. I usually start off pencil/pen, then scan the results and work from there. It is much easier on computer to do reflections/water than in real painting, but the same rules apply,just the tools for that sort of thing are faster....although digital brush strokes suck in my opinion, i have never gotten used to them.(color correction is way easier though)-and you would try things on a computer you would never try in real life. you can also determine what is wrong with your paintings much easier on computer(so take a picture of your painting and try it out)-most of the time even just flipping it, or doing color correction, you'll be amazed at what you can do on your next painting.

message 12: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
That's why I've stayed away from digital. I don't think I'd ever be satisfied with the results, at least at this point in the technology. It all seems like an imitation of the real thing. Still, I like the idea of working from a drawing and then playing with it like you do, Todd. At least there is some real hand work in there. I have been thinking recently of doing just that, using the computer as another way to get a more objective opinion on my work. I already do all the stuff Gurney mentions just to trick myself in getting a fresh perspective. I talked to another artist who was doing that and also working out her composition changes on the computer. I think it would be fun too to try other applications to change it around. I just can't get away from the feeling though that it is somehow cheating. I think there is a middle ground though. Also, I think the computer is limiting in the randomness that is necessary in art. Had a big discussion about this subject with my husband at dinner the other night. Still chewing on it.

message 13: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments Hey, not cheating, rewarding and freeing in a lot of ways. (vermeer)(da vinci), inventions served them well and sped their process. Plus it is all relative math, just that the program does some of the menial work for you, allowing you to focus on art and not process. imo.
syd mead has a lot of reference for this type of work, and he is one of the hardest working technical artist i can think of.
The computer is very very random because you will do things with it you never thought of doing, your hand is much less random in that muscle movement and memory is limited, where as cutting a picture in half, merging it with another piece, blurring and restructuring the image is free wheeling and especially layout(composition) ideas flow at will. You will find yourself trying things all the "rule" books say not to do, and i guarantee you will see something new in yourself and your work., don't be hard ass on computers, you drive a car don't you? touch a toaster? use a remote? cheating!!!!! :)) i am kidding with you sort of, but you get my drift most probably.

message 14: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 30 comments Kim wrote: "That's why I've stayed away from digital. I don't think I'd ever be satisfied with the results, at least at this point in the technology. It all seems like an imitation of the real thing. Still,..."

This is a feeling I get too. Not to say I cant appreciate it, but I feel like something is missing

message 15: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments yeah, i would say that would be a hard feeling to get over, but consider it an extra tool.

message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Hey Todd, not finding the time to get back to you just now, but I will come back with a pithy answer soon! ;0)

message 17: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments hahah okay.

message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Are you ready for pith? Here it comes...

Actually, I ride a horse and buggy and don't own a televsion, ok, ok only the second part is true. And you're right, those old guys did use a few tricks in their day. So, basically what you're saying is "get over it" and you're probably right. At least from the aspect of using it as a tool to better my work. I guess I feel a bit intimidated by the whole computer graphics thing. Maybe a victim of my age, or something like that. But I'm willing to give it a go. What programs are you using? It does seem a quick and dirty way to try out some ideas without spending tons of time on it... I can see it as a means to an end. Interestingly, on Sidebar (though I don't remember who said it), one of the artists said that though he likes to do artwork on the computer the art he actually sells for big bucks is stuff he didn't do on the computer. Basically it's about reproduction, like computer work is equal to prints and because you can reproduce it ad infinitum, it is not worth as much. So the collectors are looking for the hard copy, so to speak. In the end, if it makes amazing art then it's all good, I guess. So much for the pith. Gotta go, must harness up the horses to help move a friend to a new apartment this morning. Yeeee-hah! (And thanks for speaking your mind, Todd. I like that!)

message 19: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments

I just use photoshop, and painter sometimes, but mainly photoshop and a 3d program called maya.
I agree about the hard copy, computer art printed and sold is stupid in my opinion.(that might seem like a double standard)-but printed anything to me should be cheap-and definitely looks that way.

btw--The above article i pasted talks about similar types of things.(as we had talked about before).

Don't ever feel intimidated, it's only a ridiculous machine there to serve YOU! not the other way around. Once you learn how to use it, you can get your ideas out pretty effortlessly. And honestly i use computers more because my deadlines are so short, if i didn't have them i would use paint to do the finished product....besides deadlines give me a good angst ridden attitude, that i would like to keep until i am dead!

message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Great article. I found a podcast on how to use the Creative Suite, which I have for my computer but have never used, so I am going to check it out. It does seem a lot of people are using Photoshop. So, people try to sell the computer printed art for a lot of money? That just seems silly. Are you saying that a computer isn't an fire breathing monster? Who knew? I'll have to stop being a wimp at some point soon. Thanks. Angst can be a good motivator if you know how to control it. I've got a deadline coming up soon myself, and I asked for it!, that is giving me some of that good old fashioned angst ridden motivation and I'm kinda enjoying it, I admit!

message 21: by Todd (new)

Todd (tekeller) | 55 comments Some do, but they are crazy, and most people that buy that art are their online fans.(i think.)

Ha! yep, angst can be great! in doses. :)

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