Meet CCA Artist Gwen Good
At Columbia Arts we represent over 100 artists. Every type of 2-d and 3-d art is in our Gallery, and every month a special themed exhibition showcases additional work. The vast array of talent we have here in the Gorge never ceases to amaze me.
And what I like best is what is behind the art—the individual stories of the artists themselves. This week, I want to introduce you to artist Gwen Good. Gwen is working on the cutting edge of the marriage between art and science—and during the month of July you can see her work featured in our Nook Gallery.
“Much of my art uses science and technology to explore themes about how science and technology are profoundly changing the way we perceive the world, think and even create!” Gwen Good
A Short Biography of Gwen Good by Steve Oberlin
Gwen Good is an artist and visual media producer working at the turbulent boundary between art and science. Her broad body of work ranges from photorealistic 2D and 3D animations and computer graphics effects and simulations to evocative abstract surrealistic creations that harness hard technological innovation in the service of creative expression of emotions.
Not Afraid To Get Her Fingers Hot
Gwen’s journey, from creating works in traditional media (oil, acrylic, watercolor) and study of art and natural sciences at the University of Minnesota to her current unique application of powerful computers and programs as her artistic medium, has spanned over three decades.
Gwen’s early interdisciplinary interests in science and art kindled a fascination with some of the first demonstrations of rudimentary line drawings and animations being made by the earliest computer graphics pioneers. She quickly realized that the only way to gain access to these experimental tools was to join the ranks of those pushing the algorithm and technology envelope and write her own image rendering software. She studied calculus and programming, took advanced courses at technical conferences, and exchanged ideas with people from universities and research teams that would later form companies like Pixar.
Never Works Alone
Gwen wrote one of the first ray trace programs, capable of rendering photorealistic objects and an advanced lighting model with shadows, reflections, and refraction. She created compositing and paint programs, long before commercial programs like Photoshop, including one of the first GUIs (graphical user interfaces) to control interactive features in her programs. Of necessity, she also wrote utility programs to control her own custom computer graphics hardware, frame buffers and film recorder.
Adding the fourth dimension to her repertoire – motion over time – by animating her 3D creations let her begin producing 3D graphics and special effects for television, commercials, and video productions through her own independent special effects house, Motion Pixels.
Eventually the industry started producing professional-quality tools and Gwen was able to transition her graphic production to commercial platforms, though she later stopped doing commercial work to focus on expressing her own vision and ideas through her artwork. Her in-depth understanding of CGI gives her special insight into the capabilities of the computer as an artist tool, her years of experimentation and research, exploration of unknown visual territory, and creativity have led her to techniques and tools that are now producing unique and dramatic imagery on canvas.