Clouds and Light

Clouds and Light is an artwork that is part of the Lines Unleashed and Hacked Clouds collection of five digital artworks by Thomas Lisle, exploring the theme of painting in the digital age. Lisle's work blends various digital techniques and simulation technologies, none involving AI, to produce animated, time-based, three-dimensional compositions. The artist's elements, drawn directly in 3D, are manipulated to create an interplay of movement and reaction, creating a unique balance between seemingly incompatible elements. Inspired by psychology and the concept of constant evolution, Lisle has designed these pieces to represent states of mind in flux, leveraging elusive psychological archetypes and symbols. This innovative collection represents a significant stride in the visual abstraction aesthetic of contemporary digital painting.

Music by Joe Erskine of Ruina (formerly Kill Sonic)

"Clouds that do or don't block out the sun are very ancient archetypal symbols for seeing something clearly, or not being able to understand something. In this piece they float and morph, perhaps describing a mental process in transition. I think the colours, movement and composition are rather nice.

The theme of the collection is painting in the digital age and draws on symbols and motifs of psychological transformation and archetypes.

These artworks combine many different digital techniques and approaches (none of which involve or use AI), which I have developed to have a relationship with contemporary painting (and, to an extent, sculpture) yet animated, time-based and three-dimensional, and new.

Most of the elements are drawn/painted directly in 3D with a digital pen, then animated by hacking various simulation technology, such as hair simulations and gas and liquid simulation software, to make my autographic paint elements move and react as I want them to.

The visual/conceptual idea is to find time-based three-dimensional compositions and colour relationships with elements that might seem to be at odds with each other to balance the craziness with the peaceful.

Klee once called a drawing "taking a line for a walk"; I'd call my work freeing a line to roam in zero-G space and time whilst subjecting it to physically impossible forces which have been carefully choreographed with hundreds of variables to make a line come alive.

The hacked clouds are my digital attempt to add blocks of colour and texture, kind of synonymous with mark-making in painting, yet being animated, three-dimensional and transforming. Animated, time-based, three-dimensional paint strokes can take on a whole new narrative that a static one cannot do, enabling a paint stroke to have a character or behaviour that the viewer can easily understand.

The challenge has been to build compositions which also change over time. I'm fascinated with psychology; I like to think of my digital paintings as states of mind in flux, like the human psyche or mind, constantly evolving, even if slowly, over long periods of time.

Psychological archetypes and symbols are impossible to define; they are like moving, ever-evolving and subjective, working on the personal and/or the collective level.

The overall aim of the visual experience of each work is to make a 21st-century digital, time-based painting where many different elements, some a bit crazy, can find a visual balance and harmony through a time-based composition.

It's taken many years of treating my digital painting as oil on canvas, a kind of process testing loop and experimentation with many different digital technologies to arrive at a means of working digitally which I feel progresses the visual abstraction aesthetic of contemporary painting." - Thomas Lisle

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