Archive for the ‘visual art’ Category

Zdzisław Beksiński

If I had to choose a single favorite painter, it would probably be Polish artist Zdzislaw Beksinski. He once said, “I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams.”

You can see more of his work at these sites:

There’s also a book of his art available. The book includes a decent selection at a good price, and I like its quotations from Beksinski, but I’d like a more comprehensive book of his work.

 

Patrick Smith (Vectorpark)

Patrick Smith is a painter and a video game designer. You can find his games at Vectorpark.com and his paintings at Smithpix.net.

This is “Tower,” one of his paintings:

"Tower" by Patrick Smith

I came across Vectorpark.com some years ago when the site included just a few simple interactive Flash pieces. They had a unique charm to them, and resembled toys more than games. The works found there have become more elaborate over the years, retaining this charm and growing in creativity.

The surreal puzzle game Windosill is my favorite, and is one of the best video games I’ve come across in recent years. You can find it at Windosill.com. It’s also available through Steam1. And if you have an iPad, you can get it on that platform.

Windosill

Windosill is not free, but it is assuredly worth its low price. In an interview with .net magazine2, Smith said that he decided to try charging for this game as an experiment to see whether he can make a living from his work.

Also from that interview:

I decided on the format — a series of window-like views, with the small vehicle moving between them — pretty early on. My background is as a painter, and things like perspective and deep space are interesting to me. I thought it would be fun to have things occupying the foreground and also things in the distance, and then to find a way for them to interact.

The individual rooms each had different inspirations. In some cases, the idea for a room began with a drawing or a painting that I thought might be interesting to approach as an animation. In other cases, a kernel of an idea would occur to me while doodling or showering or running or whatever. And a lot of my inspiration comes from other artists: just to name a few, I’m a big fan of the painter Peter Breughel, the cartoonists Jim Woodring and Chris Ware, and the sculptor Alexander Calder. Someone familiar with any of their work could probably spot their influence on Windosill.

Another of his games that’s worth a look is Feed the Head. You can play the game in its entirety for free at Feedthehead.net. This one can be a little confusing at first, but it’s worth the effort.

This is “Migration,” another of his paintings:

"Migration" by Patrick Smith

1 Paul Eres calls Windosill “literally the best game on Steam.”
2 This interview seems to have disappeared from the .net magazine site, but if you can find another interview that covers similar topics here.