Friday, 25 January 2013


In my last posting I mentioned that I had been experimenting with a digital art program, and that I had found the process intriguing to the extent that I was considering purchasing a tablet to be used as a sketching tool. Then I began to wonder whether my creations were actually art, and if so what was I to do with them, print them, or simply store them on my computer.

I thought to pose the question to other artists, artists schooled in traditional methods and materials, and to inquire of them as to whether they would think to use a tablet computer for sketching purposes. Surprisingly, none said that they would, pointing out that they were much more comfortable employing methods and materials found reliable over decades of use out in the field.

As for myself I'm still debating whether to include a tablet computer as one of my sketching tools. For the time being, however, I think that I'll carry on with pencil and watercolour. There's just something about the way that pencil and watercolour react with various types of paper producing a feel and effects that , despite the wonders of technology, a stylus and a tablet computer have yet to master.

Oh, and as for my question about whether digital creations are art, of course they are. Art is art regardless of the tools used in its creation.

Algonquin Landscape  Graphite Drawing

Algonquin Landscape  Watercolour 

Algonquin Landscape  Graphite Sketch II

View From Lookout Trail  Algonquin
Graphite Drawing

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Over the years I've experienced some difficulty in accepting photographic processes as a means of making art. By this I mean photo etching, and various other photomechanical processes. I do acknowledge, however, that a degree of expertise is involved in manipulating the photo processes. All the same I feel that there something ingenuous about using cameras, and the like, to make original art. It suggests a lack of various artistic skills encouraging the taking of shortcuts. So, and this runs counter to my personal views, the other day experiencing a bit of a creative block I went off surfing the web seeking inspiration and, in the midst of my search, I ended up at the App Store exploring various digital sketching and painting programs. Some seemed quite interesting, and as a few were free to download I reviewed and installed a version of Sketchbook Express.

My first attempt at making a sketch was a bit tentative, so I tried another, then another..........and I find that I'm quite liking the experience. It's actually quite amazing what can be accomplished with the various tools and an apparent unlimited colour palette. I also quite enjoy the fact that there's little to no preparation involved, and the clean up afterwards involves........well, actually, nothing.

Northern Ontario Landscape - Digital Sketch

Lake Superior landscape   Digital Sketch

Lake Superior Provincial Park Landscape   Digital Sketch

The question that now arise is whether this is art? Should I print it off and sign it, or should I be content to simply allow it to exist in its digital state and store it in a file on my computer? I'm also wondering if I should purchase a tablet of some sort and go off sketching? Technology, eh! It was suppose to make life easier.