Saturday, May 30, 2009


In 2006 Groat became involved the Internet phenomenon called "A Painting A Day" which originated in the United States and emerged on a global scale in 2004 through the confluence of various cutting-edge cyber elements, including free public auction sites, blogs, video sites, pod casting, and message boards. The initial model has evolved into a global view of fine art painting, nurtured by the Internet's public domain status and free from the influence of traditional institutions. There exists a renewed sense of ethos among artists internationally. Artists that have been historically oppressed geographically and socially are now being liberated through their ability to both communicate with, and impact society on a global scale. Through the public domain of the Internet, artists are now working autonomously and also functioning as art educators, curators, art dealers, critics and historians. The Internet has democratized these 20th century occupations.

Daily Painting in the New Millennium By Hall Groat II

The tradition of daily painting began long before modern day oil paint was invented, and many speculate that the first paintings were created 32,000 years ago within the cave walls of Grotte Chauvet in France. These early paintings depicted men hunting animals and were conceived using natural Red ochre pigments. Painting as an expressive art medium has been embraced and revered by millions of people throughout the centuries as a form of visual communication intended to be physically experienced. If the theatrical culture of Ancient Greece only knew that we modern day people now watch drama on televisions, computers and Ipods, "What would they say?" In what ways have these new digital mediums altered the expressive nature and messages of traditional theatre?

The new millennium has brought with it an exponential growth in cutting edge Internet technologies, such as the blog, message board and video sharing web sites that have required people to learn how to communicate with one another in new and challenging ways. In 2004, within the context of the "blogosphere" (opportunities for people to experience and learn from others around the globe), American artist Duane Keiser was among the first to chronicle the tradition of daily painting and the inherent creative processes. This innovation inspired thousands of other artists to do the same, which has lead to the emergence of what may be deemed as a cyberspace culture of artists that embrace fine art painting.

What is daily painting? For many artists it is the discipline of completing a single painting each day in solitude. The painter must designate a specified time to complete a painting, regardless of whether or not there is an ideal amount of inspiration; it is an essential time span each day that the painter both embraces and savors. Many regard this time as a meditative expression of the moment and or enlightenment. Others regard the completion of the painting in a single session as a means of chronicling their spiritual diary; the "Enso." There are those artists who perceive this process as an artistic obsession (or welcomed daily struggle) that forces them to complete a painting capable of being placed in a "virtual exhibition." Why does this motivate artists? There are various possible reasons, but perhaps the desire to be socially interconnected with like-minded artists and art connoisseurs from diverse backgrounds and cultures is a driving force. It appears that admiration and validation for a painter's work contributes to their maturing as an artist and has a positive influence on honing their skills.

A new and refreshing ethos seems to be emerging among painters. The traditional art museum, gallery, and critic are of less concern to the painter who independently exhibits work a on daily basis to a global audience. Painters now are able to discuss their works with other artists residing throughout the world, and have developed extensive e-mail lists that enable them to both expose and teach people about art through sharing images and written commentaries. Quite often the people who receive the daily images are geographically or socially marginalized, and have never been granted the opportunity to learn about art or cross paths with an artist. This also holds true for the beginning artist in many instances, especially the ones who reside within countries that impose restrictions on the public exhibition of art.

The modern day blog, coupled with video sharing technologies has broadened the tradition of painting into a new communicative virtual reality world. Cyberspace is rapidly evolving and its potential social ramifications are not easily understood. What we do know, however, is that artists are strategically working together globally to use these new technologies in a manner that is promoting constructive dialogue about art and life. The conversations about paintings often function as important vehicles for dialogue that may inspire others to join in the discussions.

At this point in time, various on-line organizations collectively exhibit daily works by painters, and also serve as platforms for discussion. The Daily Painter's Art Gallery at, however, is the largest of these organizations and the first to curate an exhibition revolving around a central theme. Frequently, artists have painted and written about their perceptions of the natural environment, as well as initiated meaningful global discussions regarding the current state of the earth.

The paintings being produced by the artists affiliated with networks such as the Daily Painter's Art Gallery are prolific and reflect the current pluralistic tone of the art world. It appears that the predominant mood of expression, however, is rooted in "ala-prima" representational painting that strives to reveal extraordinary perceptions of daily life. The works often are both humble in nature and scale and reflect the genuine perception of the artist. "Daily painters" seem to embrace an aesthetic that, along with a mastery of their craft and truth of form, are tenets that provide them a unique identity. Their works do not echo the often disingenuous nature of contemporary "shock and sensationalist art" that is directed toward provoking political debate.

The daily painting Internet phenomenon, or social movement, along with the burgeoning Daily Painter's Art Gallery, have touched the lives of thousands of individuals throughout the world and are currently challenging the viewpoints of conventional artistic establishments. The movement is both liberating the painter and democratizing the manner in which art is exhibited and being deemed critically noteworthy. A global view of fine art painting is emerging at a time in history when we must reevaluate the infrastructures of our societies.

Perhaps what noted Art Historian Albert Boime professes is now emerging: "An understanding of imagery will show that we are not yet too fallen and depraved to be able to reform the world in the name of suffering humanity."

Hall Groat II,
Fine and Media Arts Department,
Broome Community College

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Impact of the Internet on Art

"Do you believe it is possible for artists to collectively present images of their artworks on the Internet to influence society on a global scale?"

Sure, why not? The ways in which particular websites become popular is unpredictable--yahoos pop up and change the world. Then Googles pop up and devour the Yahoos. The parts of the world that have access to the Internet are, in many respects, globalized; and, furthermore, coincide with the majority of the world's wealth. That wealth, in turn, shapes other parts of the world (parts which do not make popular use of the internet. This is just one consideration with regard to the limitless possibility of the Internet, as an artistic-forum, to generate change on a global-scale.

---Perhaps through Omniphasism, as noted below? Do facsimiles of artworks presented on the Internet have the same impact that they do in the physical world? What aspects of visual communication are compromised and/or enhanced through artwork presented over the Internet to a global audience? Is the Internet impacting people from a physiological standpoint, and if so, how?"

I would leave notions of "Omniphasism" out of such a discussion because omniphasism suggests that the six theoretical considerations with regard to sense-perception are compatible--in truth, some of them are in contradistinction to each other: for example "cognitive theory" and many interpretations of "Gestalt psychology." So, leaving "omniphasism" aside, I would answer the second part of the question succinctly: why not? The factors with regard to how a work of art will be perceived, interpreted, felt, and galvanizing are too numerous and complicated for anyone to even begin to tease out. One could argue that a painting on the internet is equally as impactual/meaningful as a painting hanging in a gallery, or visa versa, until he is blue in the face--and neither argument could find any more or less warrant in modern science, psychology, or philosophy (which are, of course, in many ways distinct disciplines). It is, precisely, as you say, the "physiological" impact that would be debated in this hypothetical interchange. And, to repeat my response in other words, this physiological impact is too subtle, multi-factorial, and speculative to warrant a "scientific stance."

Are humans now processing information differently due to the influence of the Internet?"

Response: This is, in many ways, the most interesting question for me. There is much to say on this subject, and I will only say a very little, but the first thing to consider is the sheer amount of information that the Internet presents. This volume of data, accessible so quickly to so many people at once, is without historical precedent. As a result, people have to adapt mechanisms for filtering in order to make good with the amazing opportunities for informational synthesis that the Internet offers. But, on an epistemological level, there is no reason to believe that the mental processes have essentially changed. This is the distinction, however, between mind and brain, or, in the Thomas tradition, "substance/accidents."

Interview with Benjamin Bliumis, 07/04/08