Blending Realms: The Artistic Journey of Boulder’s Lenny Lensworth Frieling
Lensworth Photo-All pictures in this article are done by Lensworth. Abstraction of Restored Antique Tractor at the Yearly Longmont (287) Dougherty Farm Yesteryear Show
The farm show presents everything from Blacksmiths and Fiber Spinners, Weavers and Knitters to Steam Powered Log Splitters and restored tractors
Personal Lake Muse, Waneka Lake, Reflected Trees
This is an example of Waneka Lake and Reflection with MAJOR use of saturation. In another picture that might look terrible. For me, it works here.
These two pics above are more representation, yet still are within the category of abstracts. The one below is also representational, with the subject being discernible even after the abstraction. While saturation modification is often overdone, it is a wonderful tool when used to enhance a picture in a way that is best for the picture.
Where does the representational end and abstract take control? This “Sunset in New York “is getting closer to the line of abstract, and leaves realism in the background. To me this illustrates a New Yorker looking out a window on the great City. I see isolation in the mists of the masses that make up the City.
Boulder has always been a center for creativity, and for artists in a wide range of media. Our featured artist is our own Lenny Lensworth Frieling. Lensworth works in the classic fine arts, preferring colored pencils to brushes. He also, as we know, works extensively with photography, as he has for the last 60+ years.
These pictures started with one of Lensworth’s pictures. Some of the computer options include using one of his pictures as the guide for modifying the starting point for the picture. Lenny has found that the less “representational” (realistic) and the more abstract the picture is at the start, the better the chance that the computer manipulated version will be wonderful.
This pic is more representation, and is an eye-catching impressionist picture
Some of these pictures have far more computer input than others. He chooses which to delete and which to share based upon the picture alone, including color and composition, like any other art. Short of plagiarism, it does not and cannot matter how it came to be. If a chimp or an elephant painted the picture, and the picture is good, does it matter that it was painted by a machine or by an elephant? It does not! The only thing that matters is the impact of the final work. Is it “good art?” Meaning “do you like looking at it?” or “does it create a strong emotion?”
Dark colors, dark mood. Somber vibes
Is a computer-assisted picture still art? a computer-manipulated picture is still considered art. The essence of art lies in the expression, creativity, and interpretation conveyed by the artist, regardless of the medium used. Just as traditional forms of art like painting or sculpture use physical tools and materials, digital art employs technology as its medium.
To me, this is called “Chief Niwot” also known as “Left Hand.” To this day, Boulder’s Left Hand Canyon and the town of Niwot bear the stamp of this most famous Boulder former resident. His ghost is probably subject to his famous curse, “all who visit the Boulder Valley are doomed to forever return.” I have encountered worse curses than that while driving Although his actual appearance was never recorded, I see him on the right looking right. Again, a broken rule. People looking out of the frame create tension, heightened emotions. In my photographs, abstracted or not, I look for emotion. I want viewer involvement. Simply a pretty image by itself does not emote without more going on. I crowd the edges, over-zoom, and break rules intentionally (or recognize that something is breaking the rules of color or composition, but it works for me).
Computer manipulation of images, often referred to as digital art or digital manipulation, involves using software and digital tools to create or modify images. This can range from subtle adjustments to completely transforming an image into something new and imaginative.
Why is this one of my favorites? Several things. First, I like the composition. Basic principals are violated, like the “rule of thirds,” strong diagonals, and more. If rules were not broken, what purpose do they serve to begin with? I like the overall simplicity for this particular picture.
The artist’s vision, skill, and creativity play a central role in this process.It may take viewing and attempting to adjust setting on one picture, or it may take viewing over 100 pictures, trying adjustment for some, and then after 15 minutes or an hour deciding it the result is “del” delete and start fresh or select and post the newest creation.
Art has always evolved with technology. Just as the invention of the camera changed the landscape of painting, digital tools have expanded the horizons of artistic expression. Digital art is recognized and celebrated in the same way as traditional art in galleries, exhibitions, and the professional art world.
Impressionism may be viewed as something between realisitc and total abstract, where the original subject of the picture can no longer be recognized. The final work should hopefully involve color, composition, and emotion. The colors must be balanced unless the artist chooses to create tension by working with unbalanced color selections.
The value of art is not diminished by the tools used to create it. Instead, it’s defined by the artist’s ability to communicate ideas, evoke emotions, and offer new perspectives, whether through a brushstroke, a chisel, or a digital tool.
Initially a goldfinch, now a rose
Lensworth has worked with acrylics with a palette knife, watercolors, colored pencils (one of his favorites), and more. Coloring books are within his art world also. Lensworth is wondering about what might result if the starting point is a photograph of a completed paint-by-numbers. Art from “art.” Trying new ideas is an integral part of the creation of art.
A new abstract currently using the wonderful Deep Art Effects software starts with a picture. I can start with a picture created by the program’s AI, of with one of my own. I then have over 130 different effects to choose from, with multiple sliders to change the parameters of the picture like hue, saturation, and a lot more. I can start with one picture and use a second, both mine, to modify the first. The possibilities are endless, or close enough to endless. Sometimes I’ll push a button or two and love what I see. Time to stop before I mess it up. Save it just in case. Sometimes I’ll go through a hundred or more trials and find nothing pleasing to my eye. Of course I cannot tell what is pleasing to someone else. Feedback might range from glowing “WOWs!!!!” to a polite “that’s pretty dark.” I can only go by what I like. Some of my ideas, ones I know are great, turn out to be nothing I like, even after a hundred attempts. Oh well. At least I don’t have to get out the gesso and start from scratch with a brush and some tubes of acrylics. Even with tubes of paint, I still avoid brushes and prefer working with a palette knife. I favor the fast spontaneity to carefully crafted masterpiece paintings.
While my personal preferences might at times lean towards the quick and hopefully wonderful, my favorite artists include the Dutch Masters, from Hals and Vermeer to Rembrandt. Van Gogh’s self portraits simply literally blow my mind. Contrary to popular “informed” opinions on the proper pronunciation of “Van Gogh, BOTH of the “g”s are “ch” guttural sounding, so it is more like Van Choch, with both “g”s sounding the same, not just the first being like an “H” and the second having the guttural “ch.” This is based upon what our friend and Netherlander Wim Jansen (“Vim” Jansen”) explained when I asked him. I still cannot pronounce the name of the airport. Called the “Amsterdam Airport” by many, it is really “Schlipol.” Meaning “shipwreck,” not a reassuring name for a major airport.