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Work Samples

2020-11-28 Window-1-mB.JPG

The Window light painting.
The Window is a color-changing light painting.

Descent / Descant

Descent / Descant, a light painting
Descent / Decant is a color-changing light painting. It slowly fades to virtually infinite possible combinations of colors.

Colonize - light painting

'Colonize' is a free-form abstraction with shapes that travel in various pathways across the surface.

Circumflex - a light painting

Circumflex is a color-changing light painting.


About Daniel

Baltimore City

Daniel Conrad's picture
I have been working with color and light literally all my life. My father, a professional portrait artist, had a studio in the house. I learned about additive color combinations from him in reference to Impressionist artwork, and experiments he had done with colored lights. In college I changed my major from Physics to Fine Arts and studied Josef Albers' Interaction of Color. For my thesis project I used projected colored shapes that I cross-faded while live music was improvised by another student.... more

The Window

Color-change programming for  The Window  includes random color selections that are constrained by prescribed relationships of color-difference between areas in the composition.
Size:      18”w x 24”h x 5”d 
Materials: RGB LED strips, acrylic screen, wood cabinet. Partitioning of plastic, and wood.
                           Digital micro-processor with electronics.
User Controls: On/Off , Brightness, Color change-rate. 
Date:      2020-2021

Descent / Descant - a light painting

The pattern of barriers was designed to suggest an architectural space, which plays off against the effect of different color combinations.

Dimensions:   18”w x 24”h x 5”d 
Materials:   RGB LED strips, acrylic screen, wood cabinet. Partitioning of plastic, and wood. 
                           Digital micro-processor with electronics. 
User Controls:    On/Off , Brightness, Color change-rate. 
Date:   2020-July

Entrance II

"Entrance II" is a copy of a 2018 light painting, "Entrance". The new piece introduces a 16-bit digital fading system, which produces very smooth color fades at all brightness levels.

Size:      18”W x 24”H x 5”D
Materials:     RGB led strips, acrylic screen, wood cabinet, partitioning of metal, wood, and plastic.
Control:      micro-controller with electronic circuit
Date:        2020

Circumflex – light-painting

“Circumflex” uses zones of changing color distributed over an abstract composition.
Size:         24.5” x 18.5” x 5”
Materials:    RGB LED strips, Arduino Mega, power supply, plastic screen, wooden case.
                             Interior barriers are made of foamed PVC, paper, wooden supports.
Date:        2019

Colonize - light painting

“Colonize” uses free-form shapes in combination with color-change.

Size:       16"W x 19"H x 5.5"D
Materials:      RGB LED strips, Arduino Mega, power supply, plastic screen, wooden case.
                               Interior barriers are made of foamed PVC, paper, wooden supports.
Date:      2019

Edge - light painting

"Edge" is a composition designed to explore the effects of color changes on perception of geometric spatial ambiguities.

Size:       22"W x 30"H x 5"D
Materials:     Colored LEDs, analog electronic circuit, power supply, plastic screen, wooden case.
Date:      2017

TANG - light and painting

Date:      December 2014
Size:       22.5” x 30” x 3.5”
Materials:      Acrylic and cut canvas on slotted wood panel, LEDs, Arduino control.

TANG integrates colored light with painting. Unlike previous light paintings that use a diffusing screen on the front, the LED light in TANG is diffused between surfaces inside the chamber behind the front panel of the piece. This allows a painterly development on the front. Chromatic differences between LED light and paint present an interesting challenge. TANG looks at an abstract but rustic still life of leaves which has been cut through by the crisp brilliance of angular luminous strokes.

TANG uses an Arduino microprocessor to control LED color sequences.  Alan Grover assisted with programming, and he has helped me develop programming methods for recent work.

  • TANG

    Painting with internal color-changing illumination.
  • Tang

    Internal illumination areas fade independently creating many color combinations.
  • TANG

    Different room lighting produces different appearance.

Nova - light painting

Complementary hues of blue and amber mix to white when both colors of LEDs are fully on. There are no white LEDs in this piece. Nova's four-way symmetry reflects the logic structure of the analog circuit that drives LED fade patterns.

Size - 2' x 2' on the diagonal.
Materials: Colored LEDs, analog electronic circuit, plastic screen, wooden case.
Date: 2003

LED Chromaccord - Color Performance Instrument

A “chromaccord” is a visual performance instrument that displays areas of color on a screen; the 'chromaccord effect' is purposeful engagement of after-image as an active element in a visual performance. A performer can alter the color of each area using a dimmer control panel. This is the fourth chromaccord I have built. Previous chromaccords display a color circle on a color field. 

 The LED Chromaccord is designed to have interchangeable "stencils" that change the shapes of color areas. The  control panel is programmable, so control faders can be assigned to different light groups in the display unit according to the configuration of each stencil. The small image on the display unit is enlarged through a video camera-to-projector system for public presentation.

  • LED Chromaccord - Color Performance Instrument

    This diagram shows how the LED Chromaccord operates.
  • Dave Heumann & Dan Conrad at EMP July 14, 2017

    Live performance at EMP Collective, Baltimore, MD. on July 14, 2017. Dave Heuman is featured on guitar and Daniel Conrad on LED Chromaccord. This video was recorded from the video feed to the projector.
  • LED Chromaccord - 'Target' Stencil

    The stencil shown in the inset produces the pattern shown on the screen.
  • LED Chromaccord - 'Stars'

    The 'Stars' stencil is shown and three images of color-states it produces.
  • 1999 Chromaccord

    A chromaccord built in 1999 often performed locally and regionally. Five color-states are shown at right. The circle on a field is analogous to the retina, with a foveal area and periphery. The 'chromaccord effect' is purposeful engagement of after-image as an active element in a visual performance.

Paintings, collage

Compared to light paintings, painting with brush and pigment can be relatively immediate and spontaneous. Light paintings require careful designing of temporal evolution as well as composition of shapes. Painting on paper or canvas provides a way to explore subject matter, color relationships, line, and composition - all factors that play a role in light paintings as well.

  • Fields

    painting, collage
    Size: 28” x 22” Materials: Cloth,Paper,Aluminum foil,Acrylic paint on PVC panel. Frame made with weathered wood. Date: 2020
  • Dream Flight

    Free-form watercolor
    Dream Flight is a free-form watercolor painting. It is made with watercolor paper stretched on wooden sticks. Vertical sticks are visible on the front; horizontal sticks are attached on the back to create a rigid shape somewhat like a kite. The is no frame. A hanger is attached to a stick on the back. The painting is sealed with a clear acrylic coat. Size: 27" X 43" Medium: Watercolor paper, natural wood, watercolor, clear acrylic. Date: 2019
  • Man On His Porch At Night

    Size: 14" x 11" Medium: watercolor on paper Date: 2020 Painted from memory after a late night walk in April.
  • Second Passage

    acrylic painting
    Second Passage is a collage of heavy canvas shapes covered by thin canvas, then painted with acrylic paint. Size: 43" x 34" Materials: Canvas, acrylic medium, acrylic paint, wood panel Date: 2018
  • Watercolor #13

    Size: 11: x 15" Medium: watercolor on paper Date: 2020
  • Skip

    Skip is named for the water-like appearance of the painted canvas. The canvas is stretched by the two steel hoops and wooden sticks on the front and the back. Size: 25" x 32" Materials: Canvas, acrylic paint, wood, steel hoops, rope. Date: 2018
  • Salt for Your Wounds

    Watercolor on paper. 15.5" x 21"
  • The Power Of Knowledge

    Watercolor on paper. 15.5" x 21"
  • Reverse Lens

    Size: 35" x 23" Medium: acrylic paint on canvas. Date: 2016
  • Ink Collage

    Materials: colored paper, ink Date: 2020