I am a self-taught artist who has used a variety of film and digital cameras since I was a child, experimenting with standard photographic techniques like composition, perspective, exposure and shutter speed to record images. After several decades I decided to move to a more abstracted form of image capture. As I stood with my fellow commuters on a platform on the London underground, I decided to start using my smartphone to record the people and places around me on my commute. The original reference image was captured as subjects stood patiently, or not, waiting for a train to get them away from or to somewhere; or standing or sitting on a train trying to ignore their fellow travellers by hiding behind a phone, book or newspaper. This became my ‘Phone Art’ project, with part of the intention of the project being to create art quickly by capturing the image and then modifying it using various smartphone apps and transforming it by extracting and abstracting.
With more recent work, I have continued to use a smartphone as my primary source of image capture but use a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for cataloguing and manipulating the captured images. I import phone images into Lightroom where I make basic adjustments to the composition and exposure and then study the image to find elements that can be extracted and abstracted. The image is edited in Photoshop primarily using selection and brush tools. Adobe Portfolio syncs with Lightroom so that the final image can be viewed at markdaviesimages.com or posted to Instgram.
I am always looking for something new, something different to potentially inform and give a new direction to my art. I get inspiration from looking at the work I find on the web using Google Arts & Culture for example to virtually wander around MOMA in New York, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam or the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and many others, or to actually wander around the National Gallery, the Tate Modern or Tate Britain in London. It’s a joy to come across a work by, for example, van Gogh, Cezanne, Kollwitz, Mondrian or Modigliani that I haven’t seen, or seeing an element or aspect in a work that’s previously gone unnoticed. Additionally, I spend time flicking through art books, or on Instagram, looking at what other artists I am following are currently doing. All of this influences and contributes to the variety in my work that can be seen on my website or Instagram.