Monday, October 5, 2015


Nancy Herman
8" x 16"
oil on canvas board

Why am I, an artist who has spent hours painting nature outside and in the studio now painting images actually created by the computer?

 Since I spent the majority of my life with not even an idea of using the computer to help me create or communicate, my sensibilities were not influenced by the digital world at all during their formative years.  I have followed my bliss as Joseph Campbell recommended from one discipline to another, painting outside from nature, painting translations of music, making fabric wall hangings, collages of stamps and in recent years making videos on the computer.  For me the computer is a tool to help realize what my imagination wants to produce.  With these faces found in the computer however I am surrendering to the digital world.  Willingly giving myself up to whatever these faces want to tell me.

 For all my working life I have wondered what art really is.  Inspired by great works and disgusted by trivial gimmicks I have always tried to find the answer to that question.  Now I see that a computer can randomly spew out images that actually tell a story.  What is that about?  If I had not "seen" the "story" it would not exist and if I had not selected the colors to illustrate the story and carefully transformed it in paint it would not exist for others to see.  Is the artist, like the concert pianist just performing from a score they have composed? When the score is "nature' their performance is confined by that.  When it is abstract are they performing without a "score"?  There is a great deal of speculation about how the digital age is changing how we relate to each other and how we learn.  While I paint these faces I ponder some of these questions as they continue to whisper their digital messages.