Digital artist Alan McKee uses the computer to paint with light and move beyond traditional art. View more of his artwork on his website.
I have been around visual art all my life. I paraphrase Hans Hofmann by saying art is the search for the ultimate nature of reality. It is a metaphysical quest; you could even say a spiritual quest.
That does not mean, however, that artists should be excused from knowing about perspective, spatial relationship, color relationships, etc. No. That has to be where visual art starts—from a solid basis of theoretical knowledge as well as the experience of looking and seeing, hopefully under the guidance of someone who has this basic knowledge and knows how to apply it.
I also have a great love of nature and believe that all art starts with nature as we experience it, especially now on the forefront of climate change.
My work is made up of bringing together elements of the natural world and the more formal elements of visual composition. Many of these ideas were elaborated by Mr. Hofmann to his many students across decades of teaching, which had a major impact on what is now very, very loosely called “modern art.”
Each individual artist has to understand and capture his or her glimpse of the ultimate reality. That is what I aspire to do.
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I discovered and learned how to use the computer as an art tool during thirty years of working as a freelancer in the multinational advertising industry.
When I was in my early twenties (well before desktop computers existed), I had a precognitive dream about color, art and an incredible device of wires and small gem-like objects which allowed me to express perfectly anything I wished. It was only in retrospect, some twenty years later, that I realized just how predictive my dream had been.
Over the past two decades, I have utilized the computer as my modern paintbrush to manipulate form and colour. I am virtually painting with light, as the impressionists could only dream about doing.
Real paint is made up of binders that dull and blur the color. The computer has freed color from the physical limitations of “natural” media. It opened a new world of colour and form and allowed me to push beyond the boundaries of traditional art and technique. It allows us to view the micro as the macro—in hopes of conveying the awesomeness of nature and giving it a second look to save our Mother Earth.
I hope others will enjoy what I do but, I am not doing it for others. I am living my quest, one that will never end. That is what I mean by “art” and that journey is the “meaning” of my art—to discover and push the limits of technology in creating new expressions of creativity.
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