The Digital Canvas series is the joint effort of Gilleon and inventor Marshall Monroe, who have collaborated on a range of interesting projects since they worked together as Walt Disney Imagineers. The two have now combined art and technology to create the world’s first moving paintings.
The long and complicated creation process begins with an original oil painting by Gilleon. He uses thick, heavy brushstrokes which will remain visible after the digitalization process, and muted colors which will make the transformations between scenes less difficult. Once completed, this painting is digitally photographed and converted to many separate digital files which are each individually rendered by the artist on a computer. One of these independent painting files fades away as another slowly appears, creating a false perception of movement.
In this sense, each Digital Canvas is a complex, multi-stage illusion. But it is also an allusion: a subtle reminder of life in the natural world. Its shifting images help us see what a stationary painting can never show us: Change. Time. Gilleon explains, “This new way to create art allows us to capture the volatile beauty of the natural world and to explore the ebb and flow of the living things within it. Only being able to capture a single moment can be frustrating, especially since the changeability of nature – its cycles, its transformations, the ephemeral nature of light, color, and air – is such a big part of my inspiration for a painting in the first place. With this technology, I can capture more of that as an artist. This is a historic leap forward for fine art.”