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Photoshop and Me: Editing Power

I’ve always called Photoshop “the Pencil of Digital Art”, and here’s Reason # 32,359: This image is a before-and-after example of a photograph I’m working on for a commission.

The series is part of my ongoing Oxidized Macros series and comprises a number of photographs of what I’m calling the “Homicide Posts”–the old, paint-layered lampposts outside the former Police HQ set of the TV show, “Homicide: Life on the Streets” at Fell’s Point Recreation Pier in Baltimore.

In these series, I don’t do any digital painting or rearranging of elements; the only editing I do is cropping, focus and tweaking the colors.  I amazed even myself with this result–all done with Image Adjustments and Image Adjustment Layers…and again, no painting or additions. In other words, all the changes you see in the right image were extracted from the information in the left image!

An image from Nick Rusko-Berger's "Homicide Posts" commission series

Before and After: Right Image from Left image's "dormant" information. All editing using Photoshop's Image Adjustments; no painting or additions. (Black lines are a quick "watermark mask" and not part of the image.)


My New Studio Table for Still Life: the Diebenkorn / Ocean Park Look

artist's studio, still life, process, Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park, abstract painting, abstract expressionism

Nick's White Studio Table ... Looks Like a Diebenkorn Ocean Park Series Painting

My freshly painted white, textured studio table. I’ll use it to set still lifes on.

While working on the surface (to give it some interesting character that I’ll include while I’m painting whatever’s on it) I noticed it was looking a lot like an outtake from Richard Diebenkorn‘s Ocean Park Series.

richard diebenkorn, ocean park, ocean park series, abstract painting, abstract expressionism, color field, 20th century art, modern art, contempirary art

Richard Diebenkorn's "Ocan Park no. 64": a Lot Like My Table (or vice-versa)

So…why allow (or more precisely: include) random marks on the Still Life Substrate? Here’s why:
In my observational paintings, I’ve always included nominally subtle elements–like drywall seams, paint inconsistencies, etc–when appropriate. Not only are those elements compositionally interesting, but they’re often an integral part of what I’m looking at; my  amputation of them would mean altering the scene in such a way as to make the translational process (of perceiving, processing, and painting) suffer.

Having these marks on the tabletop will provide some hard-wired Interesting Possibilities when setting up…beyond a cloth, or what have you. (Plus, the way I did it provides varying “neighborhoods of complexity”, so I have my Options.)