66" x 58"

Brushstrokes: 492

Purple abstract painting

In art, as in life, the means are just as important as the ends. When we focus on putting in great work purely for its own sake, what we get in return can be breathtaking. Such was the case with Paul & Dulcinea’s continuously-evolving journey into Alacrity.

robot painter created painting Alacrity

The journey to Alacrity

This journey began with another painting from Paul and Dulcinea’s body of work: 2013’s Cappuccino Fluid Dynamic . For Cappuccino, Paul sought to accurately capture the mesmerizing movement of cream within a cup of coffee through the utilization of fluid dynamics simulations.

Two years later, Paul would again turn to the evocative power of fluid dynamics (a subset of chaos theory) for artistic inspiration. The variable system of virtual, completely adjustable fluid nozzles in Paul’s simulation produced near-endless variations of captivating concept images – and would provide the perfect solution to an interesting challenge set for Dulcinea.
The result: a beautiful piece full of energy, light, and liveliness… and one of Paul’s personal favorite works to-date.

Alacrity ai painting by Paul Kirby

Beauty from Limitations

A single-day video shoot was planned to showcase Dulcinea’s extraordinary abilities in action.

A good deal of time was required to complete production setup of cameras and lighting, so little time was left for Dulcinea to actually paint. This led Paul to think critically about how he could A) most effectively showcase Dulcinea’s abilities, B) produce a lively and evocative painting, and C) achieve all of the above using only a few hundred brushstrokes to allow for filming time. These restrictions served not as creative shackles, but rather as fuel for imaginative innovation.

A single, frozen instance of fluid dynamics simulation, carefully curated by Paul, served as the basis for the brushstroke design. Paul reduced the overall number of Dulcinea’s brushstrokes, but still wanted to fill a sizable canvas (66” x 58”). Dulcinea’s stroke density was lightened-up, adding lots of negative space and breathing room to help the lively imagery soar across the canvas.

Alacrity by Paul Kirby

A Serendipitous Surprise

Fluid dynamics, computer simulations, production restrictions, an artistic vision – these things seem like disparate elements. And yet, it was these very components that conspired to create an emergent, unique, and vibrant painting that surprised even its creator.

In Alacrity, Paul Kirby finds delight and joy, as well as strokes and movements of the brush that he wouldn’t have thought to attempt himself. Fluid dynamics and Dulcinea’s capabilities came together to amaze Paul with uplifting movement and soul.

And so, one of Paul’s favorite paintings by Dulcinea ended up being one he didn’t expect.