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Work Samples

Monolith comp3_02.jpg

The light-painting "Monolith".
The light-painting "Monolith" is designed to give a sense of depth, light and reflection, even as the entire composition changes color.

TestFlight_3-composite.png

"Test Flight" is an abstract light-painting.
"Test Flight" is an abstract light-painting. It uses hard edges and soft color gradients. As the colors change, they are often de-saturated so the composition might be made of shades of gray.

TheWindow comp3_01.jpg

"The Window" is a color-changing light painting.
"The Window" is a color-changing light painting. 18" x 24" x 5"

2021-08 Unifyer_01-ma.JPG

"Unifyer" - acrylic painting on shaped canvas.
"Unifyer" - acrylic painting on shaped canvas.

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About Daniel

Baltimore City

Daniel Conrad's picture
I have developed methods to use the colored light of LEDs as a painter uses pigments: to achieve the compelling intimacy of a painting, with the luminosity and visual appeal of slowly-evolving colored light. I am able to create a wide variety of images by arranging LEDs and partitions behind a screen of diffusing material. Light-paintings can achieve a wide range of subtle colors, such as shades of brown and gray, that are rarely seen in kinetic light art. The modest size of my recent work provides a... more

"Monolith" - light-painting

The light-painting "Monolith" is designed to give a sense of depth, light, and reflection, even as the entire composition changes color.

Date:  2021.
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.

"Test Flight" - light-painting

"Test Flight"    - This light-painting is programmed to include desaturated color-states, which appear as pastels and shades of gray.
Materials:  RGB LED strips, programmable micro-controller,  wooden cabinet, acrylic diffusing screen.
Size:  24"h x 18"w x 5"d.
Date: 2021

"The Window" - light-painting

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

  • The Window

    "The Window" in three color states.
    "The Window" in three color states.
  • The Window

    "The Window" in five color-states.
    "The Window" in five color-states.
  • "The Window"

    "The Window" in five color-states.
    "The Window" in five color-states.
  • The Window

    "The Window" in five color-states.
    "The Window" in five color-states.
  • The Window

    "The Window" in five color-states.
    "The Window" in five color-states.
  • The Window

    "The Window" in 80 consecutive color-states.
    "The Window" in 80 consecutive color-states. This image can be read like a comic book, showing how colors change in this piece. Patterns of change never repeat.

"Descent / Descant" - a light painting

This light-painting was designed to suggest an architectural space,  at the head of a staircase.   The sense of space in the image shifts with different color combinations as the colors slowly change.

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

  • Descent / Descant

    Descent / Descant, a light painting
    Date: 2020-July 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 The pattern of barriers was designed to suggest an architectural space, which plays off against the effect of different color combinations.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    A color state of "Descant / Descent" light painting.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
  • Descant / Descent

    "Descant / Descent" in a color state.
    "Descant / Descent" in a color state. Constrained random color programming never repeats the same color combinations.

"Entrance II" - light-painting

"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

"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

Paintings, collage

I turn to painting for spontaneous contact with work that evolves even as it is made, in contrast to light-paintings, which require distinct stages of design and construction. Recently I have been particularly interested in using found objects in paintings.

  • Picnic in the Woods

    "Picnic in the Woods"
    "Picnic in the Woods" 2021 25.5" x 25" Acrylic on canvas panel with cedar sticks attached.
  • Iron Rocks, Silver Trees

    "Iron Rocks, Silver Trees"
    "Iron Rocks, Silver Trees" 2021, 25.5" x 17.5" Acrylic on canvas panel, rusted iron, cedar twigs.
  • Milk-Honey

    "Milk and Honey"
    "Milk and Honey" 2021 27" x 19" Acrylic on panel with cloth over metal circles. Weathered wood frame.
  • Forest Pastorale

    "Forest Pastorale"
    "Forest Pastorale" 2021 27" x 19.5" Acrylic on canvas panel with found wire shapes. Weathered wood frame.
  • "TwoGuys"

    "Two Guys"
    "Two Guys" 2021 14" x 20" Watercolor on paper. This is a "snapshot" of two guys I saw walking on the street in Baltimore one day.
  • South Slope

    "South Slope"
    "South Slope" 2021 18" x 24" Acrylic on canvas. The hard-edged color areas used here were suggested by designs for light-paintings.
  • Sometimes

    "Sometimes"
    "Sometimes" 2021 18" x 24" Acrylic on canvas. The hard-edged color areas used here were suggested by designs for light-paintings.
  • 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
  • Man On His Porch At Night

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

    Watercolor on paper. 15.5" x 21"

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.