Development Pages


Dave Collier
Experimental artist based in Carlisle, north-west England
y developments pages serve two functions: one is to coalesce my ideas on the perception of images, especially around shape and colour, and the second is as a repository for the software I design for manipulating images to experiment with the first.
Parade de Cirque
Seurat’s Parade de Cirque which you can see at The Met Museum’s website (and I think is OK to reproduce here regarding copyright). This is run through my edge detection software giving a brighter hue to breakness breaks that are brighter, and a darker one to those that are more pronounced, and a more opaque line where the difference in brightness between two adjoining areas is greater. The outcome shows just what an effective and interesting use Seurat made of his light and dark areas. The painting is considered one of his masterpieces, no doubt largely on account of its underlying abstract structure.
Me 7 colours
am an artist and computer programmer. Quite handy being both as I can devise my own algorithms for computer aided design of artworks.
Points – – – >
An Artist?
make a firm distinction between art and craft,
art does one or more of three things:
it invites you to look at an aspect of the world in a new or different way
it evokes an ambience, a feel or emotion
and/or it has content that encourages you to constantly look more deeply for something new of interest.
There’s also something about satisfaction of design, where repeated looking is satisfying through interest from the shapes and colours.
Do you have a different or better definition, that distinguishes art from craft? If so I would be interested to hear it. Email me from the link at the foot of this page. I get the impression that many people equate art with craft (in which case why have two words?)
What I produce I classify as art, none of it is done with the aim of looking pretty or attractive for hanging on your walls, it is all essentially an experiment in looking at the world in a different way. Technique is of minor importance for me.
Programming Code I Use
ver the years I have written programs and scripts in quite a few programming languages. I’m not a nerdy specialist in this field, I’m happy to write in anything.
I have tended to enjoy using a language more, the lower-level it is. I used to like using Assembler languages, and still go down to the bit level when optimisation is needed.
For my image-manipulation software I use HTML and Javascript. The key reason for that is portablility; I can work on my scripts wherever I happen to be, including on the iPad, though could do with a mobile app version of Dreamweaver! On the server side I still use PHP, mainly because there isn’t very much server side, it’s mainly just feeding down the Javascript.
Computer Aided Design of Artworks
ome might ask the question, why? Why use a machine to aid design? Shouldn’t visual art be a human expression? For me it’s to do with understanding, learning why the things that work, work.
One route that I look at in my studies is what happens when a picture is changed, brought down to simplified shape and colour, and most of my software experiments currently centre on this. Through the use of algorithms to achieve this simplification, as opposed to intuition, I learn ever such a lot.
Whether computer aided design will ever be useful in designing a two-dimensional image from scratch I don’t know, it probably will, if it is found to be useful then I’m sure it will.
Rationale for Doing This
t’s all an investigation. I don’t know what makes a two-dimensional image have lasting power. I don’t suppose that anyone does, really. So it’s an intriguing field of study to follow, or at least for me it is.
My outputs therefore are quite varied in nature, they could be messy abstracts or images that look quite photo-realistic. What they all are, is experiments.
Field of Study
y study focus is on the significance of shapes and colours. Visual perception is relative, the human eye and brain do not perceive shapes and colours as absolutes.
It can be tempting to believe that shapes and colours are absolute as that would be convenient in making sense of the world; until well into the twentieth century the focus was on trying to quantify from such a deterministic approach. People are moving on from that now, though not everyone, of course.
The significance of shapes and colours has wide-ranging aspects to it, through psychology and social fashions to mechanisms for shape detection to user perception. To be elaborated on the pages of this website at some point – would take up far too much space here.
Nature of Outputs
word about the artworks I produce. As I said above what I produce is not done with the aim of looking attractive, it is all part of the grand scheme of experiment.
Usually with artworks I post some comment on how and why they have been produced, though by necessity very much in précis. At some point I will produce some longer writeups, when I think of where to put them.
Artworks I produce are posted on Flickr, Instagram, and my Gallery Website which contains a subset of the images posted on Flickr.
My artworks may be classified into:
AbstractsExperiments either using code or manually to demonstrate some aspect of colour and shape interaction.
Digital Drawings Drawings either with the Apple Pencil on iPad or with the mouse on desktop or laptop, sometimes incorporating processed photos, usually to demonstrate something or other.
PhotomanipulationColour and shape experiments using a photograph as a base. All photos are abstractions of the scene that they are representing, as anyone who has ever taken a photo will know, they are not an exact representation of the scene, so it is a blurry line defining what constitutes a manipulation. Usually I am experimenting with some limited colour set to see what the effect is.
Designs With TextText is a whole separate area of my studies, for text is a series of shapes that are interpreted to provide meaning, just as a collection of shapes and colours is.
Analysis of Old MastersI use my software to look at the design structure of paintings that have stood the test of time, to search for clues why that might be from a structural perspective.
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The pages of this website include some software for photo-manipulation, or more accurately image-manipulation (it doesn’t have to be a photo). These software scripts are all my own work, they are experimental and attempt to demonstrate something as explained on each product’s page. The software is free-to-use, on the basis that you should not expect any support and do not expect it to be fully bug-free. It’s experimental.


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Dave Collier, his fawts and fearies . . . email me . . .