Yours truly breaks down and borrows his son's iPad.
I'm a romantic, I admit it.
Earlier this year when I promised myself to engage in painting and drawing on a regular basis after years of aesthetic abstinence, I swore off all things digital - at least in terms of image making. Having spent a significant portion of my life shooting and editing digital video and supplying the odd graphic or animation for educational films, I hungered for the grounding experience of making analog art . No way to "undo" a layer except by wiping it out with a rag or painting over it. Risk. Reward. Discipline! Oh well...
Drifting into making landscapes as practice paintings, I inevitably went back to old touchstones including one of my heroes, David Hockney. Even though he is a few decades ahead of me, Hockney has continually experimented with new media. Mostly within the context of painterly art historical forms such as cubism, landscape and portraiture. But also in photography and film. At the same time he has persisted in making work with traditional materials and techniques that somehow continue to transcend art history and stand as authentically modern expressions.
So I guess it was inevitable that I would download a simple paint program on my son's iPad one day and try my hand (literally) at one of Mr. Hockney's favored mediums.
I don't have a stylus yet and am just using my thumb to make lines, so it is impossible to make one that is truly straight - which is good in my mind. The thing I have to fight against is the impulse to try to make the drawing appear too much like the subject. And sort of tying one hand behind my back has always been good for the poetry in my work.
But the best thing about it so far is the ability to engage in life drawing anywhere and at any time. Last night reading in bed I got the urge to make work rather than reading about others making their work, so I spent a few minutes digitally interpreting the view across the room to the bureau and mirror.
As fitting a subject as any. And with the iPad I could work in bed without water and brush, charcoal dust or oil medium. Freedom! And the best thing is that the meditative work of balancing warm color against cool, hard marks against soft, brightness against dark all had the same salutary effect of centering my mind in the way that art-making only can do.
My take-away? Its all good. Embrace, don't reject any opportunity that allows you to move forward with the work. Be multifarious, enjoy the journey, (but get your own iPad)!