Showing posts with label Paintings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paintings. Show all posts

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Respectfully Resurrect

As an artist and tech-savvy individual, my surprising journey into the world of Vincent van Gogh took an unexpected turn when I delved into the realm of artificial intelligence. Little did I know that my exploration would lead to a captivating endeavor – creating images of Van Gogh as if he had never left us, but instead continued his artistic journey in Paris. 

The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

AI interpretation
Years ago, then as a student in art college, my fascination with Van Gogh's unique style and emotive use of color prompted me to study his life and work in detail. Van Gogh´s turbulent and tragically short life as a Dutch post-impressionist painter left an indelible mark on the art world. His emotionally charged brushstrokes and vibrant color palette spoke volumes about his inner struggles and passion for art. 

AI interpretation of Vincent in Paris if he had not died age 37

Armed with the tools of our digital age, I decided to take my exploration a step further. Using AI technology, I began recreating the style of Van Gogh's iconic paintings, seeking to understand his techniques and immerse myself in the creative process that defined his legacy.

A unexpected breakthrough came when I started to ponder a fascinating "what if" scenario: What if Van Gogh hadn't met his untimely end in 1890, and instead, he had recovered from his mental health struggles to continue his artistic journey? The idea of creating images of a later-in-life Van Gogh living in Paris, a city synonymous with artistic inspiration, ignited my imagination.

AI interpretation

With the help of advanced AI algorithms, I embarked on a journey to visualize a hypothetical continuation of Van Gogh's life while also imagining the artistic evolution he might have undergone in a different timeline. What if Vincent had met with some success as an artist, like many of the impressionist painters that came before him? What if his brother Theo, an art dealer, had been fortunate selling the many paintings Vincent produced?

As I brought Van Gogh back to life through digital art, I couldn't help but marvel at the possibilities technology offered to reinterpret and extend the legacies of revered artists.
In this alternate reality, I envisioned Van Gogh thriving in the vibrant Parisian art scene, surrounded by fellow creatives and finding new inspiration in the city of lights. The result was a collection of images that blended the familiar with the speculative, providing a glimpse into the "what could have been" of Van Gogh's artistic journey.

AI interpretation of Vincent in Paris; successful artist. His brother Theo acting as his dealer.

Studying Van Gogh through the lens of AI not only deepened my appreciation for his art but also allowed me to play a part in crafting a unique narrative for one of history's most celebrated artists. In the realm of creative exploration, the intersection of art and technology continues to open new doors, offering a chance to reimagine and extend the legacies of those who have left an indelible mark on the canvas of history.

I would not mind if after I died, someone wished to respectfully resurrect me and my life work . . . perhaps I would be honored.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Inside Your Darkest Everything

It started a couple of years ago when I made an oil painting of a young Frida Kahlo,_(Mexican,-6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954)with a skeleton whispering in her ear and wrapping his arm around her shoulder. I copied her own self-portraither first of many, then added a skeleton and a quote of hers: “I want to be inside your darkest everything.” I have tried my hand at painting skeletons and find that I like it. 

Amy and I have lived in our home in Oaxaca, Mexico going on one year. There are many festivities during the year, but undoubtedly the biggest, most famous, is Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, that occurs at the beginning of February. Significantly it is time for prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died. Its universally observed in Mexico, but also regions with large Mexican populations. In Oaxaca, skeletons and skulls are widely depicted as emblems of death and afterlife, and can be seen year around on walls.

This past year, as Dia de Muertos approached, I had an idea for a painting with skulls. With a bit of trepidation I began work on it. After overcoming some negative emotions, I continued until it was finished. Standing back, I liked it very much and determined not to sell it. It is called "Memento Mori", meaning an object serving as a warning or reminder of death, such as a skull.
My neighbor Mayolo stepped into the picture when he made a fantastic tin frame for me, complete with skulls, crossbones and roses. 
Recently Mayolo made another masterpiece frame for my next muerto painting. It has sculptures and engravings with incredible filigree work in tin. At the top are two miniature violins with exquisite detail.

It seems I am in a process of making a series of muerto paintings.
The one to the left is my latest and almost finished. Many ideas come to me. 

Twenty one years ago my daughter died of cancer. It has taken me this long to make a painting that includes death as protagonist.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Side By Side

Child of Oaxaca, oil on canvas, 80x100 cm

Since moving to Mexico, Amy and I share a studio and make our art side by side. It is a happy arrangement. We listen to music and occasionally look over the shoulder of the other to see what’s happening. She has her own style and so do I. We are different in mind and background when it comes to art. Nonetheless there is plenty of common ground.

Just today we are finishing paintings. I made a large piece with a native Oaxaca girl as subject. She is someone I saw not long ago. With her sister, she was in the the town center sitting on a sidewalk, selling little drawings and sketches made with colored pencils on paper. Amy and I bought a piece from her older sister. I took photos of both of them and the younger one had a slightly forlorn look. People were walking by without slowing down. The girls were dressed very nicely. My painting is made with oil paints.

Between Snakes and Hummingbirds, acrylic on canvas, 60x90 cm

Amy is finishing her second of a three part series titled Daughters of Tonantzin. The new work is entitled, “Quinto Sol / Entre Culebras y Colibríes .“ ( Between Snakes and Hummingbirds) A tribute to the power of innocence; and the magic and majesty of the universe.

Steven Boone Artwork

Amy Cordova y Boone artwork

Sunday, May 07, 2017

A Title Is Evocative

Sublime Touch, by Steven Boone, oil on  linen, 30 x 40 inches

After thirty years of making art and thousands of paintings, occasionally I have run out of ideas for titles. Probably some have been used twice. Especially since my sunsets are so popular—how many titles can I invent for sunsets? I have used Sunset Sublime, Sunset Song, Western Glow, Western Drama, Path To The West, Western Touch, Sunset Surprise. One of my very favorites is Heartfire, a title I collaborated on. It is a large painting.
At present I am working on a commission, a large sunset that I might name Heart Song.

A title helps a viewer get in touch with an artists' feelings about his work, and perhaps understand the intention behind it. A title is evocative at best, and disappointing at worst, e.g. when a work is labelled "Untitled".

During the heyday of abstract expressionism, titles were kept to a bland neutrality, so as not to influence someones experience of the artwork. A work might be titled Monday, because it was created on a Monday. Jackson Pollock (American, January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) gave his pictures conventional titles at first, but changed to numbers. He commented: “…look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what to look for.” Pollock’s wife, Lee Krasner (American, October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984), said Pollock “used to give his pictures conventional titles… but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is – pure painting.”

Jackson Pollock  Number 1A, 1948

Sunday, September 04, 2016

I Will Take That One

With my gallery open each day, most people come in to simply browse and look. It is like a museum experience with free admission. But of course, someone has to buy something because I am not a charitable institution and need to make a living. This happens just enough that I can stay open, continue painting and entertaining everyone.

It is only a few people who can afford good original art in their home. Thankfully, museums exist to bring important art to everyone. Much of the art in museums comes from collections donated by wealthy art lovers.

Artists need buyers. Unfortunately, not many people can collect paintings and sculpture. Art is a luxury, so clients must have disposable income to buy expensive belongings for their home.
"Casweck Window," oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches. Boone painting bought by a collector from Dallas, Texas

During the renaissance, one powerful family in Florence, Italy, the Medici's, commissioned and collected some of the most fabulous art ever made. By doing so, great artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, and more, flourished and produced masterpieces. Now those same famous artworks are in museums.
"The Birth Of Venus," by Sandro Botticelli.  Created mid 1480's.

Last week, two women were standing outside my gallery discussing some of the art in the window. I invited them inside. Within five minutes the two were comparing a couple paintings side-by-side. They concurred on the one they liked best, and one of the women said to me, “I will take that one!” It was two thousand five hundred dollars and she said it would be going in a house she is building north of Dallas, Texas. I was impressed with how quickly and deliberately she made up her mind. And of course, grateful. 

She is my “Medici.”

"Pieta," (1498–1499), sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti,

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Enough To Fill Volumes

At the Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, near Siem Reap, Cambodia
I had not intended to leave the United States in mid-September and travel around the world, but this is what happened. Yes, for certain I knew I would go to live in Venice, Italy where I stayed five weeks, and maybe visit India and Thailand.
On November 2, I was in Varanasi, India and by the end of the month living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In Thailand I realized I could only legally stay 30 days and began imagining where my footsteps might wander next. I chose the neighboring country of Cambodia and a visit to the famous Angkor Wat Temples. I only stayed one wonderful week, and circumstances brought me to Bali, Indonesia. By then I knew I would continue circling the globe east back to the USA. From Bali I went to New Zealand—and then my mother died and I hurried back to attend her memorial in Santa Barbara, California.

Over the course of 119 days, I made 25 paintings, shot thousands of photographs, wrote 17 blogs and made scores of journal entries, traveled by boat, train, car, rickshaw, bus, airplane and foot. The experiences are enough to fill volumes and will be woven into my future like so many brightly colored and various threads woven into a composition of exceptional fabric.

Now, my traveling is inward, into stillness, psychology, spirit.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

No Middle

Recently, a married couple came into my gallery and I noticed, as is almost always the case, a sense of wonder and also, hesitation. Artwork is personal and subjective, and invites a reaction. Sometimes, the work does not impress and it is dismissed, and then again, occasionally a work of art can cause a light to go inside the viewer. Sometimes, people fall in love with art.

In my front room are my landscape paintings but the couple strolled into my alcove area and the husband was the first to stop in his tracks. My alcove is where I show my paintings I call Hangups. It is a series that I made of faces hanging from clothespins, suspended on a clothesline. Usually, the initial response is bewilderment, and then it quickly goes to either like or dislike. There is no middle. Stopping in front of a painting called “Pecking Order”, of a face hanging from a clothesline and being pecked at by two crows, the man went from being startled, to bewilderment, to amusement and confirmation. I could almost hear him say to himself, “I know what that is like . . . I tried to tell someone but nobody understood. Now I am vindicated.”

The couple walked through the rest of my gallery, speaking with Bill, my gallery director, and I. They were from Texas, where it has been very hot, and they enjoyed the change of climate in Santa Fe. We learned that they had not been married long, each coming from a previous marriage. We arrived back to the alcove and the gentleman spoke with Bill while I talked with his wife. They had both suffered loss, but were trying to get back to happiness. She told me she was eighteen years older than her husband, which surprised me greatly, and I said, “You don’t look it.” I could hear bits of Bill’s conversation and heard the man speak of his fight with depression in the past. Later, Bill told me it was because of divorce.
Finally, they both agreed they liked “Pecking Order” but could not afford it. I offered to make a pigmented inkjet print on canvas, the same size as the original at 1/6 th the price. The husband still hesitated, but the woman chirped in with a smile, “I will buy it for you as a Christmas present!”
I have made the copy and will send it off to Texas this week.

To see more hangups, go to: either Steven Boone Fine Art or The Steven Boone Gallery

Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Leap Of Faith

I have taken a leap of faith and opened my own art gallery. I like surprises and sometimes, surprise myself. Only one week ago, Heidi of the Mountains and I were making the rounds of gallery openings as we do on Friday evenings. We passed a storefront where a gallery has existed for years, and I noticed it empty, with a “for rent” sign on the window. Intrigued, I jotted down the phone number. After visiting a couple more gallery openings, out of curiosity, I called the number and heard a recorded message, then left my phone number with my inquiry. By the next evening, I had met the owner, visited the space, meditated on the possibility, and confirmed my intention to sign a lease to rent. All by way of surprise.

Everyone around me has been surprised as well. The owner of the gallery where I formerly showed my work was shocked when I told him. At first he offered me wishes of success, but by the time I had taken all my art out, he was seething mad. He owes me money too, and plans not to give it to me.

I have been a gallery owner in the past, so I already had a sign to hang outside. I have a credit card terminal, and nice oriental rugs that I bought in Kashmir. In one day, I hung the gallery, and the lights were already in place. Heidi of the Mountains has quit her job of fifteen years, and has come to work for me. I have hired an expert salesman I have known for years. The first day open we sold a painting—and I did not have a receipt book! The stock market had dropped 250 points and on the third day dropped another 500. That was the day we sold another painting, and despite my concern of economic woes, the clients were happily oblivious.

I am relieved to be out of my former gallery and now able to hang the full range of my work. People that visit can see a broad spectrum of my creative impulse, including paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, and even publishing.

I do not have a gallery website yet, but click to view the Steven Boone art website.