ARTIST STATEMENT 2019
Michael Victor Ruggiero
My LSCP Pastels are inextricably linked to 20 years as a L.Arch, & inform licensed L.Arch.practice still.
They enrich life immeasurably.
ABOUT pxImpressions and PastelsXL of ▪XL Works| Art By-Hand with Hard Pastel + Pixel-Paint (#pxPaint) Media
The Magic of Zooming in at 1600% | 16X
PastelsXL Works first “Magnify” sensational hand-drawn patterns of pastel grains that are imperceptible to the naked eye in my original works. Most often they are truly microscopic. Resultant MicroImpressions or pximpressions (pxims), which vary dramatically within and among works, become a fresh, diverse medium for artistic expressions. Secondarily, in whole or parts of work forged by my energetic, Dynamic-Hand, XL Works “Amplify” an expressive immediacy in my strokes authentically to dimensions impossible by my human hand alone.
Most Works Start and Finish w/ HARD Pastels (#HDPastels)
After HD Pastel originals are ‘rasterized’ into pixels by scanning, I edit, refine, interpret and compose pxims by basic pixel-painting in Photoshop (PS). They morph readily. I employ advanced PS tools (digital ‘bells & whistles’) sparingly; more effective and in spirit of original work are final compositional measures, color, and details overlain by-Hand with #HDPastels on archival prints.
An array of dry media advantageous for ‘mass drawing’ techniques -- as opposed to ‘line’ drawing’ -- create legible base pxImpressions. These include pastels, Conte Crayons, charcoal sticks, and graphite pencils. Black-and-white or grayscale artworks forged with any such media are suitable originals for the ▪XL Process. Color can be added to artworks digitally and later by final hand overlays.
Iterative Steps | Finishes
To achieve superior results, complex works require interim magnification and pastel overlays. For final prints on paper, selecting paper 'lustre' (sheen) is means to optimize pxImpressions visually, the more subtle ones in particular. Such flexibiliy demands end specificity, which is ideal -- for 'formulaic' ▪XL Works are not -- from Start to Finish.
Fusion of Painting Media Old and New
While By-Hand & Digital processes co-exist currently, pXL Works show with undeniable synergy they are able to fuse in concert together. Through such both leap forward -- the strength of each capitalizing on the strength of the other. Works demonstrate that traditional artist skills are adaptable and fully relevant again within a digital, social media world of art here to stay.
• Incorporates endless supply of fresh hand-drawn effects, which are unique to each and every artist.
• Allows precision details at small scale, particularly for inclusion of architectural elements.
• Facilitates 1) investigation into alternative compositions & features 2) replication of features that are tedious (or impossible to consider without digital means).
• Makes time efficient, cost-effective use of ground color media, for pastels in particular. Minimizes toxic dust & fumes from fixative sprays.
▪XL* and pXL are synonyms and used interchangeably; end results of the ▪XL Process are ▪XL Works. ‘PastelsXL’ are one type of these end works.
The Birth of pxImpressionism Statement 2018
Digital painting leaped into my fine art work during 2015 inventory of my Landscape Pastels. When viewing segments of them magnified on a 19” monitor, the amount of fantastic textured-color effects held me entranced.
I discovered then that exponential enlargement of scanned 8”x10” Pastels make dynamic, striking renderings. Fertile* within are my signature ‘strength-of-hand’ color strokes written large, and, fresh textural effects -- barely perceptible in small originals -- that spring to life!
Expanding Opportunities for Artwork Rendered by Hand
My artwork below developed from ‘rasterized images’ – images composed of tiny gridded color ‘pixels’ once scanned --defy staunch conventional rules that magnification destroys quality. Basic but deft ‘pixel painting’ in Photoshop allows me to remove deficiencies and advance paintings as appropriate. The finest ‘giclee printing’ paper, specific to each, is integral to finished painting success.
Thus, in step with digital technologies racing ahead to change daily life and our visual perceptions of it, through works below I see new means of artistic exploration with greater clarity, and streams of like expressions ahead.
While several works here recall Seurat (1891)… since pixels are now HUGE globally, does not greater affinity with them for artistic expression stand to reason?