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window with chair
We caught up with Richard shortly after winning the Macworld Fine Arts competition,
and he related the story about how he started.
___ Richard is a graduate of the Maryland School of
Architecture (1978), after which he worked designing and building large buildings
in Washington, D.C. As a registered architect, he set up his own shop and began creating
architectural illustrations for builders around the country.
___ His work inpresses everyone as a cross between the
post realism and today's modern "hard edged" art. One can easily see the
piece "Window with chair" rendered in acrylic on canvas, however Richard
created it in a very different way.
___ Open the full piece in a separate browser window
which can be re-sized so both windows can be viewed at once. Click to open
My start as a digital fine artist began two years ago. At that point, I suddenly
had one of those rare flashes of insight, which gave me the idea for not just one
piece of art, but a whole body of work. I began working immediately on a first piece.
More about this in a moment.
__ When I graduated from college at the
University of Maryland School of Architecture (1978) I worked designing (and building)
large buildings in Washington D.C. I became a registered architect. After this, I
started my own company, an art studio staffed with artists who created architectural
illustrations for builders around the country. I have also worked in traditional
media such as oils and graphite. In addition, I have worked as a digital illustrator,
creating commercial images for companies like Agilent, Akaimai, Adero, and others.
Bornemann's art is created on the Macintosh platform, using Strata StudioPro and
Photoshop software as primary tools.
He starts with a D model of the piece in Strata Studio Pro as one might expect a
sculptor to begin working on a chunk of marble. He moves around walls, tests several
different camera viewpoints for the scene, and beginstesting colors. All while in
the 3D virtual world of Strata.
___ Because his images are so simple, with so few elements,
every part of the scene becomes critical to it's success.
"... in "Window with chair, " when I scaled the chair in relation
to the window it became the only scale giving element in the entire picture. Depending
on how big or small it is, immediately clues the viewer into the rough proportions
of the space. In this piece, I felt it important to have a scale that had some monumentality
to it. The space that we are viewing is fairly large, with a tall ceiling. "
A contrast is set up for the viewer,
and as our eye returns to the chair again and again, our inner sense of objects and
space presents an intriguing visual play.
___ As he constructs the elements of the piece many
details are painstakingly adjusted. The shape of the light streaming onto the floor,
the size of the window, the thickness of the wall, the height of the ceiling are
are modified and refined until Bornemann feels they are perfect.
___ At that point, he creates a series of "ray
traced" proofs from the rendering engine within Strata. For this piece, 37 different
proofs, each with fine adjustments were created. Sometimes, he will completely fill
my monitor with different proofs of a piece, narrowing down choices of what he feels
___ His next step is to create a high resolution final
ray tracing. This is imported into Photoshop and the entire image is broken down
into a series of channels. This allows each element of the piece to be retouched.
"Window with chair" had about 15 different channels, such as floor, chair,
window side, ceiling, etc.
___ While we can all enjoy the technical description
of how the piece was crafted, the important thing to learn is what really makes this
___ Bornemann's handling of the visual form and space
presents an underlying theme and message to the viewer. What is on the other side
of that wall? What is happening in the scene? What will happen next?
Many people have responded that my work gives them a sense of unlimited potential,
of optimism and hopefullness. Others have said that they are positive and uplifting
In April 2001, Boremann had his first show, at Rocky Mountain Digital Arts Center.
Nothing sold from that show, but the response from viewers on opening night was very
encouraging to him.
That show was followed by a two person show at the Peck Gallery in Providence RI.
After the first two weeks five pieces had sold. The show was extended through the
summer, and now the gallery is representing his work, with a large show being planned
#2: "The Peck Gallery"
#1: "Window & Chair"
by Richard Bornemann
#2: "Window & Chair Detail":
blow-up showing detail of chair
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