The Virtual Impressionist

If I could draw or paint what I can see, I wouldn't have build this.

Where it began

My parents were both artists. Talents skip generations, sometimes. I can't draw or paint a lick: I spent a lot of time watching.

When I was 12, I got glasses for the first time, and found out what the world really looked like.

That started a life-long passion for understanding how we see. It led me to graduate school, where I studied the way brains process visual information. And that led to an interest in making systems that would use the same processes to turn images into renderings inspired by both art and science.

Where it is now

Fast forward 30 years.

Computers 30 years ago were small, and slow. Even with access to some of the most advanced hardware on the planet, applying biologically based visual processing to images was completely impractical. But now we have massively parallel hardware in our personal computers, and amazingly productive software tools to make the hardware work hard.

The result is the images that you find here. Send the system an image of your choice, and it is rendered back into what I wish I could draw or paint. In many styles. All the artistry is in the algorithms.

Where it is going

This work remains a passion, and it is time to share the results. More styles, more capabilities will be added. If you find uses for the renderings of your image, let me know. If you have a use for the underlying technology, we should talk.