I started creating digital images in MS Paint in 2003, initially as an effective and inexpensive way to generate visual content for classes I was then teaching. The medium readily lends itself to subjects like Geography, the topic of topography in particular. Students were able to create satellite-like images of the makeup of landscapes, the outlines of which were then left to their own imaginations. Such exercises engaged them in a great deal of creativity, informed by scientific evidence, coupled with the fact that they could save their work at various stages as essentially unfinished pieces that could be later revisited. As a teacher it gave me great pleasure to witness students totally engaged in the tasks set, essentially because of the access this artistic process had provided them.
I continued creating my own images in this medium over the years, irrespective of what I was teaching. The idea of continuity and the connectivity of everything is a theme I try to explore in many images. I think vision is partially our perception of repeated patterns, so what is viewed through a microscope becomes what can be seen through a telescope and vice versa. This becomes obvious when working at the level of magnified pixels, as the process becomes one of rearranging repeated patterns to expand the overall litany of repetition, still arriving at differing effects and creating a measure of pixel symbiosis with collage.
In September of 2020 during lock down, I started incorporating photographs into my work. I employ the same technique used previously, selecting, and copying photographic samples from one image and pasting it into another using MS Paint.I use photographs provided by friends in Budapest. Their range focuses on rocks, water, foliage, trees and sky and is employed to create a series of images I refer to as Rock Art. Their keen eye for striking rock formations and the ability to faithfully capture them in photographs constitute an integral element to my recent output.
These images attempt to encapsulate what is often deemed as the first expressions of our underlying humanness, the making of art. Due to several factors, we typically find this on the surfaces of rock. In this series, however, rather than images being depicted on the surfaces of rock, the process is partially reversed, and photographs of rock are used to form images.
Additionally, the series tries to portray our constant use of resources in order to construct our meaning of self. Human success, much like failure, is often viewed through the lens of resource accumulation and consumption. Thus, we have essentially become more human doings and human havings, than human beings. It seems the only time we are ever truly human beings is that brief period after birth when little to nothing is expected of us, save just to be. And for some, not even this short moment of grace is extended. Thereafter, what we do and have quickly become paramount.
This series of Rock Art images, therefore, endeavours to present humans as an amalgamation of materials. If this perspective appears unduly negative to the viewer, keep in mind that both religion and science attests to the notion that we are essentially constructed from the ingredients of the universe (dust), materially speaking, at least.
This recent change to my process aims to further solidify the notion of inter connectivity being continually present, regardless of how and why something initially came into existence in the first place or will indeed eventually exit it. A continuation of the ongoing debate between evolutionists and creationists regarding where our species came from, the technique attempts to lend credence to both opposing camps: the humans presented in the images are an amalgamation of elements from the natural environment, as was the biblical Adam and Eve, archaic hominids and too the present Homo sapiens.
What I am ultimately working towards, however, is a visual presentation of the core themes touched upon in an unpublished novel I have been working on since the early 1990s. Although this goal could have been partially achieved in the format of a graphic novel, and on occasion I have tried to do so, I felt unsatisfied with the end results as they then stood. The images I have been working on better capture the core themes and chapters and provide me with a ready template as I write, as part of the process. However, they now hopefully stand as works of art, tentatively looking publication.
Inspiration comes from a number of sources that include but are not limited to:
.Landsat images of the 1970s.
.Images encountered in Photography Year Books while briefly attending the London College of Printing in the mid 80s
.Pictograph images encountered while studying at the Institute of Archaeology, London, in the mid 90s
.Photos from the Hubble telescope.
.Concepts and characters explored in an unpublished novel. My current output is an attempt then to transform unfinished words further into unfinished visuals.
.Type 1A Supernova of 2015 in the galaxy M82, which I was fortunate enough to witness, initially with the naked eye and then with the aid of a child`s telescope from my veranda in Budapest.
.Jazz, Ragtime, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Reggae and many other genres of music
.Pointillism / Impressionism/Aboriginal art
.The work of the artist Frank Frazetta
.Marvel comics of the 1960s, 70s and early eighties
I have recently completed an art collection (23,000+) featuring an assortment of buccaneer faces set against a variety of backgrounds. They suggest that, although piracy itself has largely remained unchanged through the ages, the backdrops to which it can be applied have now altered. Rather than being seen as simply a matter of the lawless (or indeed lawful) profiteering at the expense of someone/something else, nowadays it can be applied to a number of scenarios: governments against voters, men against women, rich against poor, slavers against the enslaved, humanity against the natural world and its biota, adults against children, etc..
The collection was created entirely in Microsoft Paint without the use of computer code and as such could represent the largest of its kind, paying homage to digital artists in an era where, due to the advent of large NFT collections, creativity seems to have been supplanted by the ease with which images can be churned out with sparse effort or artistic input. The theme of piracy is used due to the existence of the Pirate Code, a set of self-imposed rules they were meant to adhere to. However, many of them operated outside of its limitations. In terms of computer code being used to generate large collections of NFT art, it could be viewed as quite piratical for anyone in the modern age to abandon code and create over 23000 images by hand in under three months. It is my intention to mint these images on NFT gallery sites, if possible.
Over a quarter of the images sport red noses and are dedicated to Red Nose Day UK, 18th March 2022, all funds generated from their sale to go to charity.
Visit the growing collection at:
A number of these images are now presented for viewing to a larger audience but it is assumed those doing so cordially respect copyright infringement laws as they relate to the rights of the creator. Thank you.