Great artists are often able to create some of their best work within the confines of employment or commissions and the portfolio of 3D expert Lee Griggs is a perfect example of this. As an in-house artist at Autodesk, Lee has mastered the ‘Arnold Renderer’, used in various 3D applications, to perfection and his experiments often either are delightfully absurd or surprisingly emotional. This piece, featured in his series on Volume Displacement is an example of that and just the power that beautifully rendered 3D art can exude. The piece feels almost like a liquid painting, but with the added third dimension making the combination feel both more life-like and surreal. As often the case with Lee’s work we find a character portrait, displaying what can be imagined as the ghost of a moment, the feelings of its protagonist briefly captured before the painterly pond ripples and the image fades away.
It exemplifies the strength of what can be achieved in 3D art in thinning that barrier between photo-realism and complete dreamlike imagination. A link with traditional techniques of acrylic fluid or pour art can be made, but while these are often more abstract in result, here it hits a perfect sweet spot with a more figurative feel. To me this piece and the series underlines the fragility and fleetingness of memories and life itself. The texture and life-like detail of the processes used by Lee really manages to pack an emotional punch that brings me to often revisit any new experiments he sets out to capture. What’s great as well is that the artist in his role as Autodesk representative offers tutorials and helps teach other artists how to achieve similar technical proficiencies. Please check out his web and social media pages to discover more of his work and techniques.