By Christina Waters
Painting on digitally-printed canvas, painter Frank Galuszka is currently embarked on a multi-generational series of works that reflect both his seasoned on-site painting techniques and experimental digital technology.
The point of this reiteration, through digital printing and further painting, of previous work is that the artist can coax new meanings out of images that were already powerful. "I'm interested in taking these
essentially anti-photographic plein air printings and translating them into a more expressive and less "documentary" realm. Starting with 'real life' I am pushing into the fictional, adding trees where there were none, heightening mountains, removing meadows, changing the weather." Galuszka says his major inspirations in the landscape are Turner, Whistler, Friedrich, and Monet.
"The current series is literally built on top of adjusted on-site studies done several years ago in Italy, and reflects my longterm involvement with painting the landscape. And actually," he admits, "it comes out of a dissatisfaction with practical limitations of working directly from life."
Re-painting the Past
"The new series stemmed from practical matters having to do with weather and arthritis," he chuckles. "Because if a painting is beyond a certain size, both painting and easel can be be knocked over by the wind. But if you work on a small canvas, there's only so much detail you can get. The issue of changing light means there's only so much area that can be effectively addressed in a day." Given the long hours, climatic conditions and physical exertion involved in painting outdoors, the artist is enjoying a very new production concept. "Right now I'm working on paintings built upon digital prints of studies of earlier paintings." This new generation of former work, "came together because of my needs and ideas that digital research associate Peter Harris had. We refer to the digital prints as 'cartoons,' just as Renaissance painters called their preliminary drawings."
The highly experimental process involves taking one of Galuszka's paintings, photographing it, and manipulating it in the computer. Then the image is printed onto canvas and used as a guide for a future painting. Using the large printer in the DARC Cellar, Galuszka and Harris can print on canvas up to 44 inches on the shorter dimension.