Monday, August 11, 2008

who dunnit, Photoshop or moi?

In the art quilt world, there seems to be some controversy over artists' use of their own images which then then manipulate digitally, usually with Photoshop. (This is separate from the issue of copyright violation and the pending orphan bill legislation, so wonderfully explained in the blog maintained by the most spectacular artist using digital imaging on fabric, Gloria Hansen.)

Some naysayers comment, "She/he/you didn't design that. The computer did. All you did was click on a button and then print it on fabric. That isn't art."

To borrow a rejoinder from the younger generation (Gen X, Generation Text, et al.), "I don't think so." The computer is not doing the designing; the operator is, at least when the design is the result of multiple passes at the toolbar.

So, continuing with the journey of the pond palm frond photo, which was the topic of the August 8 entry:

I cropped and reversed part of the image to get the basis of my block images for the fused glass quilt (August 8 entry):

Then I played with the image some more, and produced this:

I printed this image on silk charmeuse, and stitched the outlines with copper metallic thread. A silk habotai served as a nifty border, and I mounted it on plexiglass. It was in the VIVA Gallery show last fall.

It was purchased by the owner of a Southern California quilt store who has, no doubt, excellent taste and a truly discerning eye.

I was onto something. I played and played with the original image in Photoshop and after about four hours and lots of clicking, I came up with this:

I printed this on fabric, and, you know the rest -- metallic thread stitching on the outlines. This one was mounted inside a mat frame and someone bought that, too. I also printed this on high quality photo paper and...yes! Someone else wanted it.

Does this mean I am an artist?


Karen said...


Pamela Price Klebaum said...

Gloria Hansen tried to post this reply, but somehow my blog prevented it.

Hi Pam,

I tried to post a comment on your blog, but I don't have Blogger nor an account with any of the OpenID items.

Here's my comment:

It's a silly comment. It's like saying, "She didn't do that, the paints did." Or "The camera did." Or "The clay did." These things are tools.

Tools by themselves do not get up and create by themselves. If they
did, I can tell you that I'm still waiting for all of the tubes of
watercolors sitting in my workroom to jump up and paint something.

Very best.

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