First, I want to say that the way I work, isn't the way every artist working in scanner photography works. Just like painting, drawing, traditional photography and sculpture, every artist has their own approach or method that gets them to the place they want to be. I know that my process has evolved over many years. I studied traditional art making methods at art school and initially worked in printmaking because the idea of multiple prints was very appealing to me. I did a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of drawing to study the physical structure of objects, and figures. I spent quite a bit of my early career as an artist painting. I liked photorealism and I strived to depict my subjects as if they were photographs. Until one day when I had an epiphany, "save yourself some time and just take photographs". At that point which was nearly 20 years ago, I took a series of photo classes as a post graduate student and learned quite a bit about black and white photography, honed my compositional skills and really considered what it was that I wanted to communicate. I was also teaching myself how to use PhotoShop. Right about then my photo professor, Jan Kather, introduced me to capturing images using a scanner and all bets were suddenly off. I had finally found my medium and set off to discover how to really use it well. That was 1998.
My technical process reflects all of the various incarnations I've had as an artist. First, Scanography is part photography although it's a somewhat distant relative. Many photographers have actually told me they don't think it's photography at all and they would prefer to think of it as digital art. It's true that I do not use a camera of any kind and many photographer's believe that if you aren't using a camera then it isn't photography. Of course, if that's the qualifier then neither is a photogram, shadow catching or xerox art. Since those art forms fall into photography, I'm going to conclude that Scanography is a legitimate off-shoot as well. But, given that, I will say that my work is really a combination of three or four main practices of art. One of those is photography/digital imaging. I scan my subjects at high resolutions and I manipulate them with PhotoShop. Secondly, many of my works are actually partially constructed. Lately I've become really fascinated with building little models and then capturing those with my scanner.
So, in conclusion, my art work is the culmination of technology, technique, a unique skill set and conceptual thinking. I marry those things together to create the work that I do. It is so much more than laying something on a scanner and pushing a button and hopefully, after reading this blog entry, you, the reader, have a better understanding of my work.