Dave Collier
Experimental artist
rtist and computer programmer based in Carlisle north-west England. I devise my own algorithms for computer aided design of artworks.
Me in digital drawing
These developments pages serve two functions:
1 to pull together my ideas on the perception of images, especially around shape and colour;
2 as a repository for the software I design for manipulating images to experiment with shape and colour perception. Note: the software is not available on a narrow screen e.g. a phone.
Points — >
The Artist
 make software-aided artworks and digital drawings. The end result is always a digital file which may be static or animated and can be printed or displayed on screen. Physical artwork is in the form of limited-edition prints. My figurative work all has a social comment element.
The main reason for doing this is investigative – finding out more about colour, shape and visual edges. I post regularly on artwork-related websites especially those that invite social interaction and comment, see Where to Find My Work below. Thus I get to see what others are doing internationally in similar or related fields and this provides me with ideas and stimulation.
y work is essentially an experiment in relative brightness, shape and colour identification, changing and simplifying shapes and colours to see about squeezing out some essence of what things look like and why. None of it is done with the aim of looking pretty for hanging on a wall, it is all essentially an experiment. Sometimes the outputs can look quite interesting and it is those that I make available for others to see and buy if they’d like to.
It’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 I find it an intriguing field of study to follow.
s subject preferences I absolutely love grunge, people going about their daily lives. For many years I have been a traveller, being alongside people on the streets and in buses, trains and ferries. My work tends to be figurative, since I like being with people, though abstract too, looking at the abstractions of what is round and about.
My outputs are quite varied in nature, they could be messy abstracts or images that look quite photorealistic, see see Types of Artwork Outputs below. What they all are, is experiments.
Software-Aided Artworks
he software I write and use doesn’t make artworks for me, it’s more like an analytical brush, it does some of the brushwork based upon various analyses.
These pages include some software for image-manipulation, often I use a photo. The software scripts are all my own work, they each attempt to demonstrate something as explained on each script’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. Links under the menu items above: Edge Detection, Image Manipulation, and Text.
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 the eye is a kind of camera as that would be convenient in making sense of the world; until well into the twentieth century the focus for many was on trying to quantify from such a deterministic approach. That has changed as ever more detailed analysis has taken place of what is going on in the brain in the act of seeing.
The significance of shapes and colours has wide-ranging aspects, from psychology and social fashions to mechanisms for shape detection to user perception. This is not the place to start getting into the detail of that.
Types of Artwork Outputs
My artworks may be classified into:
Experiments 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.
Colour 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 Text
Text 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 Masters
I 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.
Where to Find My Work
t’s all online, I only show online. Some of my work is for sale as limited-edition prints as indicated:
I post lots of stuff on Flickr, much of which I’d have no intention of selling. It’s my experimental work outlet.
Most of what I post on Flickr I also put on Instagram.
My presentation gallery. Contains a classified subset of the images I’ve posted on Flickr.
Artworks for sale.
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 particularly useful.
For my image-manipulation software I use HTML and Javascript. The key reason for that is portability; I can work on my scripts wherever I happen to be, including on the iPad, though could do with a decent mobile app code editor, one in which you can easily work locally and just update online when you’re ready! 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.