Digital Art As Fine Art

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Digital Art As Fine Art

From Virgil Elliott

Published before 2005


Gerald King wrote:
I guess my post on "digital Art as Fine Art" is either not fully understood or failed to convince others on this list of the power of direct contact with a subject, and the need to internalize the subject through the process of drawing. [...]

Gerald,

I understood it. I've just been painting and trying to keep from becoming embroiled in debates, which is what seems to happen every time I say anything on this forum.

Digital imagery might be a fine thing for an artist who already has the full complement of skills and artistic and aesthetic sensibilities a Master artist must have in order to create great work, but I doubt it will be a good thing for the development of those special attributes in the first place. The old-fashioned way is still the best way to get there, and probably always will be. I think artists who are not at Master level are barking up the wrong tree if they think technology is going to give them a leg up. I'd expect their progress as artists to cease developing as soon as they start looking for a way to make things easier.

The nature of electronic devices is that they become obsolete very quickly, and since the market loses interest in whatever is no longer state-of-the-art within a few months, it becomes unprofitable to continue producing them, or parts for them. What will come of digital images when the equipment required to view them stops working, and parts are no longer available to repair these devices? The inks used in printing digital images are far inferior to artists' paints, and can be expected to fade much sooner. These considerations indicate to me that digital imagery is an appropriate medium for commercial art, where permanence is unimportant, but of questionable value for fine art.

Some of my former students work with digital imagery for George Lucas in the production of his movies, but they learned to draw with pencil and charcoal, and to paint with oil paints and good old-fashioned paintbrushes, and they continue to work with these things in order to keep their skills progressing.

Virgil Elliott