Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Technology Sends Pulsations Through Art World

Birmingham, Alabama
1 April 2015

Water No-Color Painting

The DS Art Studio is excited to announce the development of a new digitally-based art form with the deceptively simple title of Water Painting.

Alabama artists Don Stewart and Sue Ellen Brown, working with a team of students from the Industrial Design and Engineering departments at Auburn University, have created a new computerized program that allows artists to ‘paint’ the surface of an enclosed body of water, revealing complex, detailed images in vibrant relief.

Using a proprietary software algorithm to synchronize an array of submerged wave generators and micro-pulsating water jets around the periphery of a swimming pool, the husband and wife team of artists has managed to create a programmable system that transforms the surface of the water into recognizable images.

“This amazing technique comprises nothing less than an entirely new medium of artistic expression,” said illustrator and portraitist Sue Ellen Brown, who headed the project.
“Virtually anything you can paint with a brush can now be reproduced in tiny waves of water.”

Brown explained that it’s easy to make circles appear, just by dropping a pebble into a pool. Multiple pebbles make circles that interact with one another, generating more complex, random shapes. The challenge, according to Brown, was to make sense out of the chaos.

“This is our version of the Mona Lisa,” says artist Don Stewart, Brown’s husband and co-owner of the DS Art Studio in Homewood, Alabama, where the new ‘painting’ process was invented.

Stewart stands poolside at the local YMCA, and touches a series of icons on his iPad. The flat surface of the water thrums to life. Within seconds the enigmatic image of Leonardo’s most famous portrait shimmers into focus. A moment later the scene shifts, morphing into Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

“It’s really just a matter of manipulating interference patterns,” says Stewart, who readily admits his lack of understanding of the math required to create the team’s undulating artworks. “It’s unbelievably complicated,” he says. “But that’s why we have computers, isn't it?”

According to the artists, this latest technological advancement offers all sorts of possibilities within the fine art world and beyond, from decorating competitive venues at collegiate and Olympic events, to customizing private pools with portraits of the owners and their pets.

“Imagine, swimmers mount the podium to receive their medals, and the entire pool vibrates into the shape of that country’s flag. That would be impressive, don't you think?” said Brown.
The patent-pending process is currently being adapted for home use, so that people can view pre-programmed art, and design original water-works for their bathtubs and garden reflecting pools.

A micro version of the device could even allow baristas to paint detailed foam images on the surface of espresso orders.

“We’re considering making it an app, so that everyone can use their cell phones to water-paint.” Stewart said.

The artists are seeking investors and potential distributors to further develop their concept. “I can't wait to see what kind of a splash this new technology makes in the Shark Tank,” Brown quips.


Don Stewart      
Sue Ellen Brown
DS Art Studio Gallery
2805 Crescent Ave
Homewood, Alabama 35209


No comments:

Post a Comment