Built In: Can AI Make Art More Human?. “Technology has also always been a part of painting, from the invention of oil paints to paint tubes to cameras that capture images that the artist can paint from. Each innovation has expanded the possibilities and questions art can explore. In that same tradition, artists using AI are able to delve deeper into how the human mind works, and in so doing, make the black box feel a little less alien.”
Richard Diebenkorn Foundation: The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation announces a new diebenkorn.org and a forthcoming catalogue raisonné of prints
Richard Diebenkorn Foundation: The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation announces a new diebenkorn.org and a forthcoming catalogue raisonné of prints. “The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, which expands knowledge and fosters appreciation of the singular and distinguished American painter, draftsman, and printmaker, today announced a new and greatly expanded diebenkorn.org and a forthcoming catalogue raisonné of prints. A nearly encyclopedic diebenkorn.org now features approximately 3,400 unique works and a sampling of the newly digitized artist’s prints, advanced search functionality, new and original scholarly content, videos, and more.”
Engadget: NVIDIA AI turns crude doodles into photorealistic landscapes. “Imagine if you had the power to turn your old-school Microsoft Paint doodles into actual art. Well, NVIDIA’s latest AI-driven software can do just that. The GauGAN image creator, named after the French post-Impressionist painter, uses generative adversarial networks to transform even the crudest of sketches into a photorealistic landscape.” Doesn’t appear to be available online yet.
Ars Technica: Scientists solve the mystery of Rembrandt’s “impasto” paint recipe. “The 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn is justly considered one of the greatest artists of all time. He’s particularly praised for his masterful depiction of light and shadow in his oil paintings, an almost three-dimensional effect achieved with his signature ‘impasto’ technique. The recipes he used to mix his paints were believed to be lost to history. But now a team of Dutch and French scientists has used high-energy X-rays to unlock Rembrandt’s secret recipe, according to a new paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie.”
Found via Reddit: someone created a Bob Ross / ‘The Joy of Painting’ episodes database. 403 episodes are listed, with some available via the official Bob Ross YouTube channel. You can even search the paintings by color. I find the headline font a bit irritating, but otherwise it’s really nicely done.
In development: an online archive of paint-decorated walls. “The Center for Painted Wall Preservation Inc. (CPWP) is dedicated to the research and preservation of 18th- and early 19th-century American paint-decorated plaster walls. Its goal is to survey and document these walls in situ or in collections, to further the appreciation of this rare and vulnerable art form, and to serve as a resource for the preservation of painted plaster walls for future generations. It also assists owners in the research, appreciation, documentation, conservation, and restoration of their paint-decorated walls.”
It looks like Facebook is going to get sued for removing the account of a user who posted an image of an explicit painting. Just as a warning: this is a painting. But it is explicit. And there is a picture of it in this article. “It means a French court will now be entitled to hear the case of Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 57-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover whose Facebook account was suspended five years ago without prior notice. That was the day he posted a photo of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 ‘The Origin of the World,’ which depicts female genitalia.” Understatement of the year.
Speaking of images: earlier this year I mentioned Google’s Deep Dream, which applied AI to images to make them, well, trippy. Now there’s a Twitter bot which will “dream” your photo in the style of a great artist. “Deep Forger is a Twitter account which will generate a version of any picture fed to it in the style of any other picture.” I sent it a picture of my feet and it’s in an 81-hour queue. Let’s see how it turns out. Original picture:
Twitch, which has a sense of humor which I quite like, is celebrating the launch of its new Creative Channel with a nine-day marathon of soft-spoken painting teacher Bob Ross. All 403 episodes of his show, The Joy of Painting. I popped in to check it and there were over 60,000 viewers. And I ended up watching for ten minutes because Bob is like human Valium.