Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kandinsky Beat

This is the earliest piece of digital art I ever did. It emerged from a heap of dusty old papers which I have been sorting out. I believe that this image is from 1984 or 1985, and was done on a first-generation Macintosh, with the program "MacPaint." My parents' next door neighbor, who was an engineer, bought the new gadget and showed it off for us. He even had a black and white printer to give us paper printouts. I quickly learned to use this program, which at first reminded me of an "Etch-a-Sketch." There was no color, just black and white pixel patterns to fill shapes with. And yet looking at this primitive first attempt, it is not that far a journey to the sophistication of Adobe Illustrator, where I could draw exactly the same shapes with the same ease. Very soon, the "Paint" programs blossomed into the ancestors of the ones we now know and use: "Painter," (now a Corel product), and Adobe Photoshop, the main engine of illustration all around the world. Even the "tool" icons from this earliest MacPaint have been preserved in the Adobe CS series.

You can see that back then I composed "mid-century modern" geometric abstract arrangements, just as I do now, inspired by Kandinsky. Hence, the swingin' title "Kandinsky Beat." The "mid-century" wasn't that far in the past back then. Now, it's considered a bygone age suitable only for period dramas and retro design resources. And the little stump-shaped Macintoshes are now considered retro relics.

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