Bold Street is a very famous Boulevard in Liverpool. For over 200 years, Bold Street was home to some of Liverpool’s finest retailers.
In the middle of Bold Street is an art shop. In the 1970’s this Aladdin’s cave was a treasure trove for budding artists like myself. The proprietor was a little sparrow of a woman. She had an encyclopaedic knowledge about art and materials.
I spent hours in the shop, buying oils, canvas, spatchelors and brushes. The best advice she gave me was that an oil painting will come to life if you put it in the right frame.
I spent over 15 years painting in oil before it dawned on me that I was not going to be the next Rembrandt. To this day I am still in awe when I gaze upon the work of the Great Masters. These days, I do not have the skill or patience to paint in oil.
I recently downloaded a program on my iPhone called PaintMee to see if a computer program could legitimately mimic an oil painting. I imported a photograph of my wife into PaintMee, created this oil and then framed it with Dropframe.
The result is an image that is supposed to look like an oil painting, with a frame rendered from another software program. In effect, an image created by artificial intelligence. I am not claiming that this rendering is anything other than a clever exercise in algorithms but the result took less than five minutes and cost substantially less than hiring a competent oil painter.
Like most digital imagineers, my quest is to see how art and science can collaborate in different ways and see how they can benefit one another.
My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the digital circus.