The AI algorithms and me


photograph by E.M.Schumacher – a scene from the Blindman River in Alberta

‘It was a dark and dreary day, but I didn’t let it stay that way’. That should be my caption for the photo above. I am always drawn to this view but the day and the time of year does not show that. So the image below is what I changed it into;

Digital Art, E.M. Schumacher, 2021

And here it is, with its very strong relationship to abstract painting that I created years ago.

It would have taken me hours and hours to decide which aspect of my ‘style’ to apply to the brightly coloured landscape above, but in mere minutes the Al algorithms of Google’s Deep Dream Generator applied the style of my painting to the photograph to create my digital image.

This app can be used by anyone to create digital art. A background in art is not needed and there is free version available.

For myself, knowing that I can apply the style of an art work that I created myself to my own photographs or my own digital images to create something new where the style remains my own is an amazing outcome. Since I use only my own work I retain the copyright on the resulting imagery.

Anyone who uses images where they do not retain the copyright, even just to style other images, would not retain the copyright on the final digital image that is produced by the Deep Dream Generator.

The deep dream generator also offers monthly paid subscription plans that allow for the generation of a higher number of images as well as higher image resolution, up to 5 mega pixels.

As a visual artist I see this as a tool that will let me experiment while also saving myself some time. After years spent printmaking, drawing and painting, I have many ‘styles’ of my own to work with. But letting an AI algorithm do the work for me has me wondering if this might end up feeling like a lazy way out. That and just how much digital art does the world need right now?

October and choices

It’s October and once again I don’t know where the first half of the month went.  Projects are firming up in my mind and as always there are too many of them. 

I’ve always been an ‘idea’ person.  No problem at all thinking of things to do.  The big problem for me has always been narrowing it down to what I am actually capable of getting done.  The reality is that I am only one person and that there are only so many productive hours available to me on any given day.

Social media can be a boon and a curse at the same time. As a rural artist it gives me a way to share my work and connect in a way that I couldn’t otherwise.  But it also has these big hungry jaws that gobble up my time if I’m not careful.

Choosing from all the creative things I’d like to be doing won’t be easy, but I’m starting with ink drawings.  I love to draw and don’t do enough of it. 

I’m going back to using the desktop app from Toggle to track my time and likely cringing whenever I look at how much time I’ve really spent on social media compared to how much time I’ve been working on my projects.

I started sharing early ink drawings and mixed media on Twitter today using the #inktober2018 hashtag. I’ve missed the first half of October but tomorrow and for the rest of the month, I will be doing my best to post a new drawing a day.

This ink and watercolor drawing is called ‘Water over Stones’  and led to a whole series of abstract mixed media work on paper.