Is there a face in this?


The Baroness Doran of Memphis, “tomatoes,” 2018, bad digital photography

If you haven’t noticed, I never post without including something I’ve created, well…painted more particularly…  But today, today is an exception – because I realized something that could be nothing, but I thought it was something about AI – – a subject I dance around in my paintings.  I’m getting to the point.
I was endeavoring to memorialize the end of the tomatoes in the garden by taking a picture for my notes.  I grabbed my camera, set it on auto and held it over the tomatoes – mind you I couldn’t see at this angle, I’m not that tall – and grabbed the shot.  As I was drawing the screen back to check, the familiar caution of “blink detected” in a red box flashed on the screen.  Blink Detected.  Okay, I was photographing tomatoes – they’re shiny, I get it.  But when I went to view the picture, the camera, in its own wisdom had changed the subject from landscape to portrait.  So, the artificial intelligence of the automatic selection of my trusty little camera detected a “blink” and changed the frame from landscape to portrait.  I can’t for the life of me make out anything in this composition that references that “two eyes” primal genetic recognition thingy we all have that assumes we are looking at a face. Or, does the camera see something I don’t?  What’s the algorithm for that?  Could 17 eyes also be a face?

I promised a point.


Okay.  Here’s one of my paintings that contains a subtext of an idea of artificial intelligence.

The March of Successes, 2018

The March of Successes, 2018, oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″

The birth of sunflowers…

That’s it.  I’ve spent days trying to capture just what it is that makes up my vision.  This, is as close as is necessary, I think.  No, I’m sure.    So, one can now ponder just how this matrix thing works.  Ha!

Acceptance Life in the Matrix 2016

Acceptance: [/life in the Matrix], 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches


These pieces were chosen for publication in the 2016 edition of Clamor, the annual arts and literary journal for University of Washington, Bothell. In conjunction with the Undergraduate Research Fair at UWB, Clamor is hosting an Art Exhibit on May 13th that will include these works!

Doran_Dana_Melancholy Crow

Melancholy Crow, 2015, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

Doran_Dana_Quantum Physics

Quantum Physics, 2015, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

For those that like to read, I was required to submit a brief abstract:

Dana graduated (magna cum laude) from UW Bothell in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Art.  While her artistic endeavors vary between mediums and substrates her focus is primarily in two dimensional pieces of oil on canvas. Impressed by her studies in preserving habitat and climate change, Dana often incorporates these issues into her work by using a blackbird either representing himself, nature as a whole, or an anthropomorphic rendition in substitution for man’s dilemma and his place in nature.  Her work asks the viewer, through the use of visual clues, to consider its message, if only for just a moment, as art is not only documentation of the culture in which we live; it identifies and defines who we are as a society.

Melancholy Crow, 2015, places the blackbird in a pose that would not be found in nature and was intentioned  to draw reference to such classics as Manet’s Olympia.  While the message, man’s encroachment on habitat is strictly subliminal, the classic pose is meant to direct the viewer’s attention to nature and man’s interaction with it.

Quantum Physics, 2015 is the artist’s vision of a headline that read, “Scientists show future events decide what happens in the past.”  Based on the act of observation, the article explained that Australian scientists had used protons in a double slot experiment that proved the statement.  This piece represents the artist’s interpretation of the observation.

The Fundamental Knowability of Nature

It’s a big title for a painting.  Of course, it has a story…based in quantum physics (of which I know very little.)  The fundamental knowability of nature explains, as an example, that the more precisely you locate the position of an atom, the more unlikely it will be that you can tell the speed at which it is traveling.  You can’t know both at once.  Remarkable.  I translated that idea into a visual image that correlates this blackbird’s place in man’s world.  Oh wait, does that work?


The Fundamental Knowability of Nature, 2016, oil on Canvas, 30″ x 40″