• “Drench” is the current “slideshow sketchbook” of alcohol ink and
other “common art” artworks as a way to distract and amuse to
relieve stress, during the pandemic.
• The stresses now are less of the potential mortal and illness kind but more
about engaging a world with topsy-turvy geopolitics and economic
• One very cool recent discovery is how to actually apply custom style
transfer by harnessing the neural filter (AI) by using my own alcohol ink
paintings as seeding images (can apply one or several to a work). In other
words, the software learns from a seeding image or several and
deconstructs one or several into a style, which can then be applied to a
focal digital visual as a style. This is a real superpower…
• “Welcome Spring” (on the cover) is such a “morph” (used loosely) or “meld” (used
loosely, too) of an original photo and an original alcohol ink artwork. (An ANN—with
its attendant mysteries—is used to create this, I think.)
• The style transfer is not just color, which comes to the fore in human attention, but
also lines and textures and other aspects.
• I’ve noticed that if there is an alpha channel, the neural filters cannot apply to the
transparency, so one has to add some background to put the full visual into play.
• I am learning that some “style transfer” neural filters are telltale ones
that may be a little over-powering. These enable a full “takeover” of
the original digital visual.
• Neural filters can be strengthened in effect based on a parameter
defined by a slider. (There is not a direct concomitant weakening of
an effect, no slider that goes into the negative space.)
• There are a few ways to mute these styles (from AI), such as by using the
original image’s color palette and / or desaturating or making other
changes during the style application. And there’s always follow-on effects
that can be applied (hue/saturation changes, for example, or adjusting
curves, or changing contrast, and others).
• The other issue is that neural filters apply to the whole visual globally. One
cannot select a segment of a visual and apply the neural filters just to that
part (the way you can with other deterministic filters). This has
implications for the work pipeline. (There are a few extra steps to select
out something that has been changed and reintegrate amalgamates with
part of the original visual, for example.)
• My preference is more for a “hidden hand” or more subtle effect where
possible but with sufficient change to trigger interest in the human visual
• The neural filters and other digital image editing capabilities feel like
an artful partner in making new works.
• I am exploring to find rules, but I’m finding that they’re fairly
provisional. There are no “always” rules.
• Practically, there is an infinitude of options in the neural filters and other
image editing tools. It is maybe helpful to have a human constraining hand
and vision and time.
• The digital image editing can make sense of odds-and-ends.
• The reward systems in my brain are triggered with curiosity and
• Per the prior slideshow (“Runnel”), and on closer inspection, alcohol
inks on synthetic papers are “fugitive colors” like all other analog or
material pigments. They fade over time. They escape. Their true
colors dull over time and exposures to the world.
• Digital colors are not “fugitive” but may be prone to various technological
“slow fires.” Clearly, preservationists are interested in protecting human
creations, and they will protect what humanity cares about.
• There is always inspiration from what others do. One line-art piece
with a gradient inspired one work in this slideshow. If you’ve gotten
this far, you’ve already seen it.
• I have been on some daytrips for photography. Some of the photos
look furtive to me because I mostly shoot from the road.
• If things felt friendlier, I might step out and ask permission and take closeups
from close up. But where technology allows, it’s easier just to use a long lens
(and post production). It’s easier to drive and shoot over the left shoulder
(rarely), with blur and lens flare and all.
• In general, I like to be a purist and use only what I’ve created (keep it
all in the newbie / noob wheelhouse).
• However, in this slideshow, I have one image that I derived from an open-
source visual, which I found online. It has been changed globally sufficiently
that I doubt it can be reidentified to the source.