City Expressions Using Digital Art

My mother loved painting but society at her time was not very complacent about women deciding to undertake activities not related to house chores. How many times she overheard "Painting? Women? They were not made for each other!". To survive, she opted for sewing, a way of letting her talk to different people, express her artistic abilities with the needle (sort of brush, right?) and, on occasion, sneakily show her paintings that she would do very late at night.

2015-11-07-1446929582-1798174-DSC_3604copy.jpg A Fall Scene: The Naked Trees, Getting Ready for the Winter, Expose the Houses. Celso Bressan

Setting aside sociological aspects, her painting style was a mixture of realism and impressionism, the latter most prevalent in her later years. She liked doing common scenes, sometimes with light brush strokes, sometimes very heavy, trying to stick to reality without actually observing the boundaries of the details, which still seems to be contradictory to me. However, differently from the Impressionists that used brilliant colors and, quite often, plenty of light, my mother applied dark tones mostly reflecting difficult stages of her life.

If painters only become famous after their death, this has still to happen to my mother for the most part because her artistic production was very small and circumscribed to giving it away to family members.

2015-11-07-1446930258-9945315-DSC_0308.jpg A Street Scene in the Fall. Celso Bressan

The truth is that she taught me a thing or two about the art. I played with her brushes and paints, more scratching a few canvases than effectively applying some art to them. I believe nothing remains from this incipient time as it was more useful as fuel in the fireplace...

Many years later, I attempted a new beginning with watercolor due to its fluidity of colors and light. I worked hard, studied a lot and, after a while, I realized that the reservoir of my talent was not big enough to endure my will, specially after I found out that watercolor is less forgiving than oil (acrylic). I gave up again although I think I have made progress as some paintings still decorate the walls of my house.

2015-11-07-1446928634-8282843-Marataizes_2840A.jpgTo Vary From the Fall Scenes, a City Escape Close to the beach With Lots of Action. Celso Bressan

Now, I think I finally found a way to artistically express myself by combining painting and photography: starting from a picture, I transform it, I apply special effects and I literally hand paint it until I get a pleasing image that sounds like a real painting. I know it is not palpable, physically speaking, but my pleasure is to take one of those electronic pencils and, just like a real brush, apply colors and textures. Most of the time, I spend hours on a single picture, just forgetting the world around me.

Indeed, not all pieces are interesting but some of them have that brilliance that make me feel realized!

Opening a parenthesis in my story, Photography and Painting have much in common because both deal with the handling of light and color and share the same principles of composition, although using different mediums. Painters always had an advantage by the intrinsic higher degree of freedom to put on a canvas what they wanted (basically, a painter "constructs" the scene from scratch) while photographers would have to be restricted to what they could photograph (that is, the camera captures the "ready-made" scene). Today, this is no longer valid as editing software allows for infinite possibilities em terms of digital art creativity.

2015-11-07-1446929877-8864683-Quebec_6406copy.jpgThe Sunset at the Old City. Celso Bressan

These city escapes you are seeing here are some of the results of this new phase of work. I like the light and the color (just like a watercolor piece of art) with no specific style as I keep making my art according to my feeling on a certain picture (I believe you could call me a "an almost-there painter with an almost-there style"...).

How do I choose a picture? It has to have a good composition and overall attraction or, in other words, I pick the one that I feel is going to work. In fact, I think that it is the picture that chooses me... Because inspiration drives my work, some of my paintings end up working very well while others I simply set aside for good.

What really counts for me, even though it is all digital, is the sensation that I am painting!

2015-11-07-1446931308-6585788-Ottawa_2355A.jpgAgain a Fall Scene at the Old Town With the Stylish Houses. Celso Bressan